Nas and Hit-Boy have proven to be a potent combination on the 30-year hip-hop veterans’ latest album King’s Disease and now, they’ve shared a snippet of their next high-profile collaboration, “E.P.M.D.” The song will officially release on the soundtrack to the historical Black Panthers drama Judas And The Black Messiah this Friday, February 12, alongside tracks from HER and Jay-Z and Nipsey Hussle.
“E.P.M.D.” is named, naturally, after the groundbreaking golden era duo from which Nas borrows the lyrics that open the track. “E.P.M.D., we back in business,” he barks before launching into a trademark verse packed with wordplay and references to the film’s titular “Black messiah,” Fred Hampton. Nas has often name-checked Hampton and the Panthers in his music, so having him on the soundtrack is a smart tactic.
However, one person who also constantly references Hampton’s views in her work will not be on the soundtrack after seeing the movie. Noname, the outspoken Chicago rapper who is connected with the leader in both perspective and hometown, said that she disagreed with the film’s portrayal of the civil rights hero and turned down a placement alongside her Ghetto Sage compatriots Saba and Smino.
Meanwhile, a popular Twitter meme that former rival Jay-Z has stepped on each of Nas’ last three release dates with a project of his own has taken on new life with the announcement of Jay’s Nipsey Hussle collaboration dropping on the same day — even though both songs are on the same project. We’ll see which of the two tracks garners the most attention Friday, 2/12 with the release of both Judas And The Black Messiah and its soundtrack. In the meantime, check out Nas’ new song snippet above.