While Twitter was losing its collective mind over Kanye West’s failure to drop Donda (again), Nas respectfully delivered King’s Disease II, the follow-up to the Grammy Award-winning original.
The 15-track project was light on the guest features (especially compared to the bloated Donda with its 24 tracks and over a dozen guests), but those who did contribute offered potent verses to the project. Among those were Eminem and Hip Hop legends EPMD who appeared on the aptly-titled track “EPMD 2.”
For Slim Shady’s verse, he paid tribute to several innovative Hip Hop artists who have passed away, including MF DOOM, Whodini’s Ecstasy, DMX and The Fat Boys’ Prince Markie Dee.
But he also showed love to his longtime friend and collaborator 50 Cent with, “I hit 50 Cent via text, told that him I love him/’Cause I don’t even know when I’ma see ’em next/Tomorrow could be your death.”
Mr. Curtis Jackson reacted to the song via Instagram on Friday (August 6), and undoubtedly cosigned the obvious album highlight.
“No you can not front on this verse,” he wrote alongside a clip of the cut. “you just gotta listen, shut the fuck up and listen.”
All of the late rappers Eminem mentioned have died within the last year. MF DOOM passed away in October 2020 from unknown causes, Ecstasy in December 2020 from unknown causes, Prince Markie Dee in February from congestive heart failure and DMX in April from a heart attack stemming from a drug overdose.
But Eminem wasn’t able to include Digital Underground legend Shock G, former Bad Boy Records artist Black Rob, Blackalicious MC Gift of Gab and the “Clown Prince of Hip Hop” Biz Markie, who presumably all passed away after the song was done.
Eminem and 50 Cent’s friendship stretches back over two decades. In 2003, Eminem offered the television mogul a $1 million dollar record deal with Shady Records and 50 Cent became the label’s first artist. Although he left the imprint in 2014, they remain close.
As he told Huffington Post in 2014, “It’s impossible to ruin the relationship Eminem and I have built up. There’s no way I would say or do anything that would disrespect what he’s done for me.
“I credit a huge portion of my success to Em because if it wasn’t for him being excited about the project, no one else would have rallied around it.”