With a backing band, Nas unloaded the clip during his first solo Grammy performance, a year after winning Best Rap Album for King’s Disease.
Nas is running a victory lap tonight. During the 64th Annual Grammy Awards, the rapper took the stage to perform solo at the ceremony for the first time, donning a grey suit while flowing through select hits. Backed by a band, including Robert Glasper on piano, he opened with “I Can.” Nas also performed “Made You Look,” “One Mic,” and “Rare”, with a snippet of “New York State of Mind” from his 1994 classic debut Illmatic.
— Recording Academy / GRAMMYs (@RecordingAcad) April 4, 2022
Earlier in the evening, the rapper lost Best Rap Album to Tyler, the Creator for CALL ME IF YOU GET LOST. Also in the category was J. Cole (The Off-Season) and Kanye West (Donda). Nas was also nominated in the Best Rap Song category for “Bath Salts” with JAY-Z and the late DMX, losing to Ye and JAY-Z for Donda track “Jail.”
The medley makes his second time performing at the Grammys, last hitting the stage in 2020 alongside Lil Nas X for “Rodeo (Remix)”. In 2021, Nas won his first Grammy for Best Rap Album with Hit-Boy for their inaugural collaborative album King’s Disease.
Nas’ last album Magic arrived on Christmas Eve of last year as his third collaborative effort with Hit-Boy. Prior to the album’s release, last August, the rapper gave Hit-Boy a shoutout and subtly teased their third album on The Ebro Show.
“He’s like my Quincy [Jones], you know what I mean?… So I feel like the next thing I do, if I was to work with Hit-Boy on the next thing I do, I think that we might do something that is going to be magical. I think what we have is magic.”