Nas - Life Is Good
- Artist: Nas
- Album: Life Is Good
- Label: Def Jam
- Year of Release: 2012
- ME Rating:
- Reviewed by: carlita on 2012-10-06
Towards the end of an interesting year for hip-hop, many predicted rappers in the West and South would hold it down this year but minus a few releases here and there, surprisingly it's been relatively "all quiet on the Eastern (NYC) front" until now. When you've achieved "Nasty" Nas' stature, Life Is Good , sure, but the constant comeback comparison every time you drop an album to the 1994 and 1996 classics, "Illmatic" and "It Was Written", is inescapable.
For anyone familiar with debatably two of the best hip-hop albums ever created, you might agree they still hold up vinyl-wise, digitally and live as evidenced to anyone who attended last year's Rock the Bells show, where Nas was joined on stage by key "Ill" producers Pete Rock and DJ Premier for his set. On album #10, the first solo album in four years, what do you do now?
Follow these three easy steps:
1. Bring in producers like No I.D. (continuing his breakout year, well done, sir) and Salaam Remi to pair hype beats with lyrical excellence.
2. Continue to rep Q-Borough, recounting his "Queens Story".
3. Ruminate about the happiness, turbulence and scars still fresh enough to be raw sonically. "No Introduction" necessary.
Always aware of snide naysayers (i.e. "Hate Me Now"), he performs his current hip-hopera (for the "trapped in the 90's n--gas") in his trademark theatrical way, staging every scene in vibrant detail of his thug royalty existence. Recruiting Swizz Beatz, Miguel, Main Source vet Large Professor, Anthony Hamilton, Mary J. Blige and deceased songbird Amy Winehouse (she and Mr. Jones on "Cherry Wine"), there are so many highlights, it's ridic, including his track with Ricky Rozay, "Accident Murderers", Heavy D (RIP) beat-provided and Super Cat sample-heavy "The Don" and history lecture-dropping (pay attention, kids) on "Back When".
Confronting family drama directly on "Daughters", "Roses" and Guy-sampled "Bye Baby", the mere mortal mulls over, like on the album cover, marriage, money matters, misty-eyed memories and the aftermath of mobile media mistakes. Creating a much buzzed about, #1 Billboard chart topping album, "the Black Bond" can now take a bow following his"summer on smash", proving to the world once again, all he STILL needs is "one mic".
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