The song was released as the lead single from King's Disease
. Traditionally, the "king's disease" refers to gout, a medical condition characterized by recurrent attacks of acute inflammatory arthritis, which is commonly associated with excessive consumption of meat, alcohol and fructose-sweetened drinks.
"The title was King's Disease before this craziness happened," Nas told Zane Lowe regarding the killing of George Floyd by a white policeman
. "Watching all the terror happening all over the country, I just felt the knee on my neck and I felt the knee on our people and I felt like I needed a pride moment. I needed a moment to be happy about our existence, to have made it so far, and all the things that we have done as a people."
Nas added that this song is a celebration of Black American resilience amid institutionalized racism. "I box it all out and I think about, 'This is my message.' I hope everybody's okay. I hope they get it and feel what I'm saying," he said. "And not just the words, but the vibration, the energy I'm on with myself and how I want to give that back to people. It's just a feeling and it's not against anybody else. It's about inspiring one to have love of self regardless of what's happening around you, to you."