Earlier this week, Nas crashed a Run the Jewels listening party to play fans his latest single, “The Season.” Now the rapper has shared the smoothly soulful song online, making it available to stream below and download.
After months of promoting the 20th anniversary edition of his breakthrough debut, Illmatic, and the documentary, Time Is Illmatic, Nas has been spending his time crafting his next record with producers Timbaland, Swizz Beats and No I.D. The rapper has yet to announce a release date for the album.
Midway into “The Season,” which may or may not appear on the LP, the track finds the rapper bragging, “Hands in the air, the season of Nasir,” as well as “This soulful sample complements my rhyme so well,” which draws attention to the work of deceased producer J Dilla. The brassy sample, which owes a debt to Seventies singers like Curtis Mayfield and Isaac Hayes, originally appeared as the 65-second song “Gobstopper” on Donuts, the last record to come out in Dilla’s lifetime. He died in 2006 at age 32 after a long battle with lupus, three days after the album’s release.
In related news, Dilla’s mother released 40 previously unreleased beats in a collection titled The King of Beats (Ma Dukes Yancey Collector’s Edition Box Set), over the summer. “This project came about by a lot of soul-searching and meditation as to what can I do now that my son has so many bootleg projects out by unknown artists without my approval,” the producer’s mother, Maureen “Ma Dukes” Yancey, told Rolling Stone in June. “Now that I’m out of mourning and full of insight and feeling my son’s energy radiate around me, I wanted to do something different but iconic; something that people would preserve and relish for a lifetime that spoke quality.”