Following the release of his latest album, King’s Disease, Nas has released the official video for his recent single, “Ultra Black,” that’s a celebration of Black culture.
Directed by Spike Jordan, the video features cameos from producer Hit-Boy, along with Dapper Dan and Pyer Moss’ Kerby Jean-Raymond. The video takes the viewer through everyday life in /New York City, with shots of tucked away apartments, families taking care of children, and empty streets. Meanwhile, Nas raps about the different types of Blackness and what it means to him.
“We goin’ Ultra Black, I gotta toast to that, We don’t fold or crack/Occasion, we rose to that, f__k goin’ postal/We goin’ Ultra Black/Watchin’ the global change, hop in the coldest range,
Hit-Boy on the beat,/this s__t ‘posed to slap, We goin’ Ultra Black.”
Nas also recently collaborated with Pantone Color Institute to produce a custom color, also called “Ultra Black,” to promote the song and launched an accompanying merch collection.
“We were thrilled to be able to partner with Nas on the creation of ULTRA BLACK, a color symbolic of the powerful message he expresses in his new compelling anthemic statement,” said Laurie Pressman, VP Pantone Color Institute.
The song initially garnered some controversy as many believed it included a dig at Doja Cat with Nas rapping, “We going Ultra Black, unapologetically Black/The opposite of Doja Cat, Michael Black-son Black.” He later clarified, “I was really just saying a rhyme that rhymed with ‘Ultra Black.’ I didn’t even think of it, you know what I’m saying? It’s all love.”
The album King’s Disease was released to critical acclaim, with NME calling it “a stately and royal return to form for rap’s original scholar.” Consequence of Sound also said of the album, “King’s Disease delivers a feel appropriate for the times and hits the mark as being one of the better rap albums of the year.”
Following his 2018 studio album, Nasir, and 2019’s compilation The Lost Tapes II LP, the Hit Boy-produced King’s Disease features appearances by Charlie Wilson, Anderson .Paak, Big Sean, The Firm, Lil Dirk, and A$AP Ferg, among others.
King’s Disease can be bought here.