NAS LIFE IS GOOD REVIEW
The journey within Nas’s entire career has been meant with many obstacles. Here was a man chosen in the early 90s to be the next Rakim and the poster child for what real hip hop really was. When I first heard of Nas on Live from the BBQ. I was astonished so when he followed up with Illmatic. It seemed that the crown was his for the takened. However Nas’s artistic and personal life has takened its ups and downs. Whenever it be from rappers taking aim at him, Proving his critics that he can still hang with the best of them and continuing to swim through the pressures of the everlasting rap game. Not many have survived the trials and tribulations that Nas have went through and for him to be in the game as a 20 year vet and to have his name still out there is impressive in its own right. The question is what does he have anything left for his newest album Life is Good?
Stillmatic had Nas battling his peers and proving that he’s still that nigga not to be fucked with. God Son was probably one of his personal if not most personal album as you can tell he was battling his peers, the machine he felt was against him at the time and dealing with the loss of his mother. Whereas Hip Hop is Dead and Untitled were looked upon as being “too political” and Distant Relatives which while was a great album due to Nas actually teaming up with Damien Marley still wasn’t enough to satisfy his core. Distant Relatives while was a great album seemed to be more so a Damien Marley album featuring Nas and also seemed that there were instances on the album where Nas felt uninspired and didn’t really feel like doing it anymore.
It possibly was the personal trial and error that was dealt in Nas’s personal life is what takened his toll. Between his bizzarre marriage with Kelis being in shambles and having to cough up close to half of his earnings to Child Support, The IRS garnishing his wages due to unpaid taxes and the pressure to stay relevant in a forever fickle changing market. It seemed that this would keep your average artist uninspired and would want to put down the mic and walk away. But this wasn’t the case for Nas.
It seemed that whenever Nas’s back is at the wall and there’s alot of pressure on him, He takes that pain and uses it for inspiration. Throughout the whole year he been making apperances on rappers whom are considered “corny” by many of his hardcore fans but whenever he got on these tracks whenever it be Wayne, Drake, Rick Ross, He still proved that in what Chris Jericho would say the BEST in the WORLD at what he does and he carried that newfound hunger into Life Is Good.
The subliminal message seemingly was aimed at Kelis as he’s sitting on the chair with her green wedding dress that even though she’s gone. Life is Good for him now and it must be because Nas hasn’t sounded this alive in years. There are instances such as Da Introduction, Queens Story and Locomotive where he brings back Large Professor to cook him up a 90’s type banger is where Nas shows flashes of even his It Was Written days. The album also has its fun moments where Nas sound like he’s enjoying himself such as Nasty, The Reach featuring Mary J Blige, and The Don which has the potential to be a big club banger for the album.
The Guest appearances on here are surprisingly kept to a minimum on the rapping side. Rick Ross makes a appearance on one of my favorite tracks titled Accidental Murderers which is a track that tackles the issues of reckless and ignorant shooters within the hood. Rick Ross’s verse seemingly sounds off topic but his flow was on point. You Would understand is another one of my favorites as he sounds reminiscent of that classic 90’s smooth flow.
Life is Good inspite the title has Nas tackling personal issues within his life.Whereas Nas was defending himself, his legacy, and his dignity as a man on Stillmatic, Life is Good have him speaking from a more grown up prospective and problems that he’s dealing with as a fully grown man. Daughters which was the album’s 3rd single is a great track that could be refreshing for radio as it focuses on young women in a positive light and also foretells his mistakes as a concerned parent as in dealing with his own daughter. Cherry Wine and Stay are two beautifully orchestrated songs which Nas speaking on what he wants out of specific women and showcasing his happiness despite the problems that plague him. Amy Winehouse does the course for Cherry Wine and she sounds perfect. Say what you want about the girl, She was tremendously talented.
The main inspiration for LIfe is Good was no question his ex-wife Kelis. On two songs he talks about the marriage with her which on Bye Baby seemingly talks about the up and downs along with her insecurities and basically acknowledged her in a somewhat postive light. He comes across as a man whom despite the issues wanted to work out the marriage because he loved her and even explained his feelings about why he got her name tatted.
The other track Rose is the flipside as Nas expresses the bad and ugly side of his marriage with Kelis. His joy seemed to have went into anguish and anger as he expressed her controlling ways, how he have to give up half of his earnings and how she over spent alot of the money he gave her. Divorces and Breakups can be one of the most painful experiences any man can go through so I’m pretty sure this album is relatable to alot of listeners whom is going through the same problems. Considering that most of the todays rappers put on thats fantasies that they the biggest players, pimps, and the type that only fuck bitches then kick em out. It’s refreshing to hear artist tackle issues that regular people face.
What I loved about LIfe is Good is the fact that it took it back to the origin of hip hop. The album was like an open book from Nas’s personal life and the sound orchestrated flowed throughout like a movie score. Its been a problem for years that Nas had a terrible ears for production but this time he finally got the right ingredients together and not only that, He stuck with a theme throughout the album and he sounded more alive than ever proving why he’s possibly one of the greatest artists of all time. Aside from Swizz Beatz Summer on Smash, I can’t recall one really bad song on here as the whole album flowed cohesive. I believe we have a CLASSIC(Yes I said Classic) album on our hands
Vic Rating 10 outta 10