Hip-hop maestro Nas finally won his first Grammy on Sunday after 13 nominations across more than two decades.
The 47-year-old rapper from the Queens borough of New York City, won Best Rap Album for his 13th album, “King’s Disease.”
The album beat out “Black Habits” by D Smoke, “A Written Testimony” by Jay Electronica, “Alfredo” by Freddie Gibbs & The Alchemist, and “The Allegory” by Royce da 5′9”.
“King’s Disease,” released Aug. 21, was headlined by the lead single “Ultra Black,” an unapologetic celebration of Black culture in America. In an interview with British music magazine NME in November, Nas said that he had attempted to create a record similar to James Brown’s 1968 classic “Say It Loud ― I’m Black and I’m Proud” and said it was necessary for Black artists to make similar anthems because of “the foot on our necks.”
“We’re in a world right now where we’re facing some really terrible racist practices, and there are people who don’t realize it’s happening,” Nas said. “So these records were made to remind us that we are God’s creation, just like every white man, every Asian brother and everyone else.”