“Life Is Good” by Nas
What more can be said about a man that is on mostly every rap fan’s top five list? Nas is back on the scene to release his first album in four years. Life Is Good is Nas’ tenth studio solo album and also his best album since God’s Son. Nas provides the listeners with everything on this album. He has the club smash, the introspective track, the relationship songs, the family songs, and the old school NY boom-bap songs. The album has features from Swizz Beatz, Miguel, Mary J. Blige, Rick Ross, Anthony Hamilton, and Amy Winehouse. Salaam Remi, NO I.D., Justice LEAGUE, Swizz Beatz, and Buckwild handle the production. This album establishes that Nas is still relevant and real Hip-Hop still lives! The album features some of the stand-out tracks on the album are:
- “A Queens Story” – Nas recounts different parts of his life growing up in Queens on his way to becoming a great rapper. Salaam Remi (long time Nas collaborator) crafts the background music to this tale of living in the hood and just trying to survive.
- “Daughters” – This track is “for my brothers with daughters.” Nas raps about the issues involved in being a famous rapper and having to raise a daughter. Nas has always made songs for his daughter but this one is a little different. He sheds light on some instances of his daughter acting like a typical teenage girl. It’s showing that even though you are famous and could provide your daughter with all the money she needs, you still have to be there to support her and raise her the right way.
- “Reach Out” featuring Mary J. Blige – Nas and Mary J. bring it back to 90s feeling on this one. The Isaac Hayes sample is perfect for this track. This is that music meant for cruising through queens with the top down on a Saturday afternoon.
- “Summer on Smash” featuring Miguel & Swizz Beatz – This is the only club banger on the whole album and it is well done. Swizz Beatz handled the production and the hook on this record. Miguel has a verse and very nice bridge on this song. It’s a club banger but with Nas’ style and it works really well.
- “Cherry Wine” featuring Amy Winehouse – This song features a hook from the late Amy Winehouse. Nas and Amy had a friendship outside of music and I am really happy that he got to use some of her material on this album. This song is about Nas looking for the right woman for him. This woman will be able to sit back, relax, and sip some cherry wine.
- “Bye Baby” – This is the song on the album dedicated to the marriage and relationship between him and Kelis. He details a lot of good times in the marriage and the good things he got out of it. It is not a bitter track by any means. It talks about all the lessons he has learned from the relationship.
Nas’ Life Is Good is a classic album. It is definitely one of his best and is the best hip-hop album to drop this summer thus far. Make sure to check this out when it hits stores on July 17th, 2012. Salute to Nas, the don.
By Malcolm Gray
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