On the emotional and introspective song, produced by Take A Daytrip, Omer Fedi, and Roy Lonzo, Nas shares his feelings of non-acceptance while he was growing up.
“Since 10, I been feeling lonely / Had friends, but they was picking on me / Always thinking, why my lips so big? / Was I too dark? Can they sense my fears?” he sings. “These gay thoughts would always haunt me / I prayed God would take it from me.”
In the cinematic video, which includes a cameo from Nas’ own father R. L. Stafford, the “Old Town Road” rapper travels back to 2017 when he was a teenager in high school struggling to fit in–from working at Taco Bell to running his Nicki Minaj stan page @NasMaraj.
“I’d be by the phone / Stanning Nicki morning into dawn / Only place I felt like I belonged,” he sings.
He also recalls his prom night, where he went into the bathroom stall and cried. “I know that you want to cry, but it’s much more to life than dying over your past mistakes and people who threw dirt on your name,” the adult Nas tells his younger self, promising him that there’s brighter days ahead.
Nas will perform “Sun Goes Down,” along with his chart-topping hit “Montero,” on this weekend’s season finale of “Saturday Night Live.”