On Thursday (Sept. 14), Nas and Hit-Boy returned with Magic 3, the presumed final installment of a two-trilogy run over the past three years. This go ’round, the duo deliver a 15-song effort with a single assist from Lil Wayne, who appears on the standout cut “Never Die.”

The arrival of Magic 3 also coincided with Nas’ 50th birthday, which the legendary emcee celebrated via a huge extravaganza in NYC. As pictures and visuals being shared on social media revealed, peers like Kendrick Lamar, Diddy, Q-Tip, Fat Joe, Raekwon, Jadakiss, N.O.R.E., Styles P, Mary J. Blige, Chris Rock, DJ Premier, and even Robert De Niro were in attendance.

Nas and Hit-Boy first struck with 2020’s King’s Disease, which came with 13 tracks and contributions from Lil Durk, Big Sean, Don Toliver, Charlie Wilson, Anderson .Paak, Foxy Brown, Fivio Foreign, and more. The project debuted at No. 5 on the Billboard 200 and scored the artists’ their first-ever Grammy for Best Rap Album. 2021 saw the release of King’s Disease II, which peaked at No. 3 on the aforementioned chart. The first installment of Magic arrived as a surprise drop just before that year came to a close.

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Nas spoke on how he and his Cali counterpart began their six-album journey. “The world shut down, I wasn’t leaving home, and Hit-Boy was telling me to come out, that’s he’s in the studio, and not many people are coming, it’s going to be okay,” he explained.

He also gave some insight on their process in the studio, which wasn’t without the occasional disagreement. “Sometimes I’d be like, ‘But I did that, I did that already.’ And he’d say, ‘I know you, you’re going to go into a new cadence on it. Can you please just do this flow right here? I promise you,'” Nas stated. Press play on Magic 3 below.