John Bush of AllMusic gave Nia 4 stars out of 5, calling it "an album that stakes the claim of Chief Xcel and Gift of Gab as not only the best pair of rappers in the underground, but also the best pair of producers." Patrick Jones of PopMatters commented that it "renews your faith in the power and potential of hip-hop."
Nathan Rabin of The A.V. Club said, "Blackalicious' work will strike some listeners as hopelessly naïve and New Age-ish, but Nia is nevertheless an audacious, uncompromised, enormously promising album by a group with the courage to disregard hip-hop's codes and unwritten rules to create music that is vitally, distinctly its own."
It ranked number 45 on NME's 101 Albums to Hear Before You Die.