Nas Unpacked The Meaning Of ‘King’s Disease’ And Identified Some Unlikely Dream Collaborators On ‘Colbert’

Nas is working on King’s Disease IV, according to 50 Cent, but the New York rapper is still relishing in King’s Disease III. The album arrived in November, and Nas is set to bring the trilogy to Madison Square Garden for one night only on Friday, February 24.

Ahead of the epic performance, which will somehow be his first time playing MSG, Nas returned to The Late Show With Stephen Colbert for the first time since 2018 on Wednesday night, February 22.

“It’s sort of surreal. It’s like a dream. I never thought I would be there. I thought about it when I got into music, and I thought, like, ‘I gotta play that place when I make it,'” Nas told Colbert. “And all the years escaped me because I got busy doing so many other things, and then I started releasing music again, so I said, ‘Now’s the right time.'”

Nas first dropped King’s Disease in August 2020, and King’s Disease II quickly followed in August 2021. The former won Best Rap Album at the 2021 GrammysNas’ first career Grammy — while the latter was nominated in the same category at last year’s Grammys.

With Colbert, Nas unpacked what King’s Disease actually means.

“Over-indulgence,” he said. “[The king] gets what he wants, and too much of that is not good.”

Colbert wondered if Nas has “ever had the King’s Disease,” to which Nas said, “I guess some elements of it. Here and there, you know. It’s a wake-up call. You wake up before it’s too late. I read about a lot of artists that came up in our time or before our time, and some of them were wild people. And I learned a lot from them, and it kind of gave me some of the guidelines in this business.”

“How do you cure the King’s Disease?” Colbert asked.

Nas continued, “You kill the ego, and you make it about the music. Make it about the art. And live your life.”

Nas followed his own advice by squashing his beef with 21 Savage, which was possibly a publicity stunt to promote their collaborative single “One Mic, One Gun” last fall.

Nas’ conversation with Colbert also touched on the 50th anniversary of hip-hop and which artists Nas would like to collaborate with, including Billy Joel and Bruce Springsteen. Watch it above.