21 Savage and Nas are burying a mini-controversy “with love, respect and unity,” per the Queens icon. The newly released, horns-laden “One Mic One Gun” is produced by Nas’ King’s Disease trilogy collaborator Hit-Boy.
While the title is an obvious nod to the 2001 Stillmatic single “One Mic,” the chorus of 21’s whispery I Am > I Was track “asmr” in 2018 did memorably contain the line “I just need one Glock, Nas need one mic.”
Nas shared some wisdom and positivity on Instagram on Tuesday, posting the cover art and writing, “Only way we moving is with love, respect and unity. The foundational principles of hip hop. Excited to collaborate with my young brother and I hope more artist use turbulent moments and turn them into a time to make new art. That’s what it’s about.”
The turbulent moment in question was born from a hot take by 21 that saw pushback from Hit-Boy, Kodak Black, Jim Jones and Juelz Santana, Nas’ brother Jungle, Fivio Foreign, and more. In a Clubhouse talk that happened two weeks ago despite feeling like it was at least two months ago, 30-year-old Savage asked about 49-year-old Nasir, “What y’all saying relevant, though? I don’t feel like he’s relevant, I just feel like he got fans. … He’s not relevant. He just has a loyal-ass fan base…and he still make good-ass music.”
The conversation was titled “Is Nas the Greatest Rapper or What?”
The Her Loss spitter immediately hit Twitter for clarification—or to backpedal. “I would never disrespect nas or any legend who paved the way for me y’all be tryna take stuff and run with it,” he wrote. The tweet remains near the top of his feed, with only one post since then.
Stream Nas and 21 Savage’s “One Gun One Mic” below. 21 opens the track, “Ain’t no back and forth, ain’t no left or right/I got King’s Disease but I move like a knight.” He quickly references the hubbub with the line, “When you turn a legend, no such thing as relevance/They must’ve forgot that I’m a new rapper that got integrity,” later adding, “I ain’t goin’ against no legend n***a, I’m tryna be next in line”
As they pass the mic several times, Nas speaks on the situation with bars that include, “No back and forth, I did it back then, I do it right now/They tellin’ me that I’m the G-O-A-T, I been here for a while/GOAT, love me today, hate me tomorrow, no switchin’ my style/21, Yak, y’all get together, be big for the South.”
Following the release, 21 hit Clubhouse once again to reveal he and Nas have been in touch for a while and already had plans to collab.
“I been had his number,” Savage said, per the Shade Room. “He been telling me he was a fan of my shit, I been telling him the same thing before all this shit happened, bro. That’s why he didn’t take what I said in no disrespectful way, ’cause he knew what I was tryna say.”