Christmas music may already be on the radio, but before the candy wrappers come off of this Halloween, it will already be Nas‘s season. The New York rap icon released probably the year’s most acclaimed hip-hop album, Run the Jewels‘ Run the Jewels 2, earlier this week on his Mass Appeal imprint, and the other night he appeared unannounced at an RTJ2 even in Brooklyn, where he premiered a new song called “The Season.” Although only a snippet of the song, constructed around a sample of the late J Dilla‘s Donuts track “Gobstopper,” was initially available, the man born Nasir Jones has since shared the entire recording.
“I just put it down for a second / Damn, can’t the king lounge for a second?” Nas memorably asks, coolly picking it back up amid Dilla’s plush horns and laid-back bass groove. Earlier this year, the Queensbridge MC told NPR he’d been working with Timbaland, No I.D. and Swizz Beatz on a follow-up to 2012′s Life Is Good. “Get out your chair, the season of Nasir,” he declares as the new one comes to its sing-song hook. Post-Illmatic, the great has been famous for raising hopes only to disappoint (hard-hitters “The Don” and “Accident Murderers” even set me up for false expectations of the still-solid, mature Life Is Good). But if Nas has more tracks of this caliber sitting around, season’s greetings.
You can hear “The Season” below, and scroll down to watch the premiere snippet.