New Album from Nas is an Underrated Classic; Life Is Good

Posted: October 2, 2012 in Hip Hop, Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

How can a multiplatinum world renowned lyrical Hip Hop genius fly under the radar?

I laugh whenever youngsters tell me that Waka Flocka is a ‘good rapper’. I try to closet my bitterness about the state of Hip Hop, but it seeps out whenever I discuss today’s artists. I know I’m not young and I’m not supposed to relate to the music of seventeen year old rappers. I like some of Waka’s music. I like Meek Mill and that MMG movement, especially right now. Young Money has a few megabytes reserved in my iPod. But let’s be honest, Nas is an icon. If there was a monument erected on the side of a mountain depicting relevent New York rappers, it would have Jay-Z, Biggie, 50 and Nas. Surprisingly, the 40 year old MC turned businessman, is still relevent in the culture today. 50 Cent recently released a classic DJ Drama hosted mixtape called the Lost Tapes. Jay-Z teamed up with Kanye West for Watch The Throne to worlwide sales and acclaim as well. Until his latest release Life Is Good, Nas featured on a few tracks here and there, but not enough to gain new fans or get any major attention. TMZ and all the New York gossip mongers focused on his recent divorce from wife Kelis and published reports of how much he paid in alimony and child support. I’m going to talk about the music. Life Is Good is all about the breakup. Life Is Good is about living the single life, models, actresses, trips to Europe, exotic islands, Brazillian dimes, alcohol and plenty of blunts to take the edge off that LIFE. With Nas, the lyricism is always there. The albums he put out to poor sales was only because of his choice of production. This album is a perfect match of beats from some of the best (Large Professor, Swizz Beats, NO I.D., J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League, Salaam Remi and even the late Heavy D). Nas reminds us why he got to where he got and how to do it. Again.


1. No Introduction: Starts off with piano keys and an orchestral feel. Nas describing growing up in the projects of Queensbridge and “Brazillian bitches on zanies.” I was beginning to regret the download after hearing the first track, but I was wrong. So wrong.

2. Loco-Motive(feat. Large Professor): has a New York State of Mind feel to it. Sinister keys and a thumping baseline highlight the track. But Nas paints word pictures and even dedicates it to “his trapped in the 90s niggas”.

3. A Queens Story: Classic tale of the neighborhood. “Dope sold in laundromats.” Nas celebrating getting out of the hood. Memorable, but not too memorable.

4. Accident Murderers (feat. Rick Ross): Classic. This is for the new generation and it delivers. Organs, church ladies singing and Rozay’s hurry-up Tupac flow with plenty of grunting makes it all work. Just gangster music. Or Maybach Music, if you under 30 years old.

5. Daughters: Nas with a little upliftment for his seeds. These tracks are kinda formulaic for him now. It’s slow and deliberate. If you are a fan, you know it’s similar to “I Can”. Inspirational and honest account of being a father and having a daughter coming of age. Funny placement for a track like this. Fucking A&R’s trying some iTunes math here.

6. Reach Out (feat. Mary J. Blige): This one is for the ladies. Plenty of Mary doing it big on the vocals and Nas cutting the track with serious lyricism. I can see ass in short skirts with long legs and cosmopolitans spilling when this come on in the club.

7. World’s An Addiction (feat. Anthony Hamilton): Another track with an R&B star filling space between Nas cutting the track with serious lyricism. Hamilton is a good crooner, so it’s bearable.

8. Summer On Smash (feat. Miguel, Swizz Beats): Swizz can do no wrong nowadays. “Bad Bitches, Champagne Wishes… Cirroc on Splash” It’s a club hit. Nas with some designer label, model smashing and Yacht talk. All while Miguel is singing “Life Is Good”.

9. You Wouldn’t Understand (feat. Victoria Monet): Another mellow track. A radio track. I can ride to this one. Nas sticks to the formula of appealing to the ladies first and the rest will follow.

10. Back When: A reflection of life in Queensbridge. Nas depicting life as a fan of Hip Hop. A little jab at today’s rappers “realness.”

11. The Don: This is the one. The track given by Heavy D and mixed by Salaam Remi. Just real hip hop spitting. I put this one on repeat. You are not a Nas fan if you don’t like this one. “Army jacket swag, Army jacket green and black…”

12. Stay (feat. Large Professor): another throwback to the 90s. The sample is ill. Nice sax, smooth vocals and Nas spitting that real Hip Hop picture painting everday life story shit. Reminds me of my best old lady. That love hate feel to it. Unexplainable, but dope.

13. Cherry Wine (feat. Amy Winehouse): RIP Amy Winehouse. She was talented and this track did her justice. Nas and Amy just doing what they do. This will be a hit when they release it. Amy fans will laud it as a hit and maybe this album will get the justice it deserves from the critics.

14. Bye Baby: One of my favorite tracks. Nas detailing the breakup with wifey. The Guy sample is dope. This is real. Classic material.

15. Nasty: This single circulated on the Internets for several months before this release, so no surprise it would be included. Still a dope track. Nas came with it in that 90s flow.

16. Trust: Slow introspective tale of backstabbing snakes and trifling bitches. The track whistles and the hook is long, but simple “I want a bitch I can trust. Some niggas I can trust. Accountants looking over my figures I can trust…” Knowledge track for the streets.

17. The Black Bond: This one has a Black James Bond feel to it. Travel brochure, wine, jet-setting, dinner with water and tea glasses and lipsticked European designer dresses, model smashing track.

18. Roses: Alternative track with a sad bitch singing about roses and thorns. Nas just talking smashing the latest one and the money. Relationships and what that means to independent women.

19. Where’s The Love (feat. Cocaine 80s): Should have left this one on the cutting room floor. Not even worth a B-side. I know I’m showing my age. Google B-side.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s