Earlier this year, Nas released his 13th studio album King’s Disease. Now, the New York rap legend has dropped a new song called “Flying Stars Flying” for the upcoming HBO adaptation of Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Between The World And Me.
King’s Disease was mostly produced by Hit-Boy, but the instrumental for “Fallen Stars Flying” was made by iLL Wayno, who’s worked with A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie, 2 Chainz, and Nicki Minaj. However, lyrically, the track feels like a spiritual continuation of the record’s themes of black youth in America. “Black youth, flying, fallen stars, black youth/ Fly-flying, fallen stars flying/ Angels pop out the hood like poof/ No-nowadays staying real is a loss,” he raps during the hook.
Later, he reflects on a young fan approaching him and sharing how his 1996 song “Black Girl Lost” helped guide her through life’s tribulations. “I met a young queen, the little girl asked for my autograph/ She said my verse from “Black Girl Lost” made her find her way/ She said she got tatted wings on her back/ So when she want she can fly away.”
“Fallen Stars Flying” ultimately has a mournful quality to it, but it’s matched by Nas’ wisdom as a multi-generational veteran in hip-hop. Take a listen below.
In Consequence of Sound’s review of King’s Disease, writer Okla Jones’ described it as “a guideline for the young, Black male on how to survive on many levels.” After that record dropped, Nas featured on Public Enemy’s new album What You Gonna Do When The Grid Goes Down?, and joined Joey Bada$$ and Gary Clark Jr on a recent Statik Selektah song called “Keep It Moving”.