Nas

Album Review: Nas’ “Life Is Good”


Rating: 9 / 10

It has been said that Nas was unable to catch a victory; from the situations involving his very public split with his ex-wife, Kelis, to his daughter’s misuse of Instagram, it’s easy to interpret the building missteps as losses. However, Nas has a way of giving hope to his fans even in those times, whether it’s the announcement of his album, or his incredible outputs alongside MMG machine, Rick Ross. As more songs began to slip from Life Is Good, fans began to hope for the best and hope that Nas was “back.” After a few leaks, the entire album is upon us to dissect, and it may be one of the few times where it’s a good thing to believe the hype, as Nasir delivers in almost every way possible.

One of the gigantic knocks against Nas in the past has been his selection of beats. Some people say that it makes it easier to focus on lyrics, while others say there needs to be a mixture of both; on this album, however, there’s a happy medium that’s sure to please most. The production is mainly handled by No. I.D. and Salaam Remi (with additional assistance from Swizz Beatz, Noah “40” Shebib, J.U.S.T.I.C.E League, and more), and ranges from expansive strings and organ-driven instrumentals to tracks that seem to have time-warped from the late ’90s. But, as with almost all No I.D-influenced projects, it just works.

With that biggest knock taken care of, Nas proceeds to deliver the same lyrical personality we’ve come to know him for; original concepts permeate Life Is Good to the core. From discussing “Accident Murderers” with Rick Ross (you had to have known that Rozay was going to be here somewhere), to addressing that aforementioned Instagram incident on “Daughters”, to the issues of the world on “World’s An Addiction”, to just having a lyrical woodshed moment on “The Don”, mostly every dimension of Nas is represented, refined, and replay-ready.

(Note: the vigor extends into the bonus tracks as well, so if you plan to cop the LP, make sure to grab the deluxe version)

Nas doesn’t overload his LP with features either, as only an average amount of artists are present, but they all help the presentation as well. The Large Professor’s voice speaks to the listeners ‘trapped in the ’90s’, so to speak (“Loco-Motive”), while Anthony Hamilton accents the song perfectly with his soulful vocals (“World’s An Addiction”) and Amy Winehouse brings a pinch of nostalgia with her feature on “Cherry Wine” that’s sure to turn heads.

To be honest, there’s more than enough content here to grab attention. Whether it’s the powerful “Goodbye Love” sample from Guy in “Bye Baby”, to the eclectic but cohesive sound that runs throughout the LP, to the content that Nas never fails to deliver on, this is one of the few projects to be released in recent years that truly shows an artist improving while at the top of their game. If we weren’t too busy tallying his losses, we would’ve noticed all of the signs that showed he was plotting, most notably his stellar recent collaborations.

The result of Nas turning his recent pain into progression and piecing it all together positively is Life Is Good, a project that’s almost destined to be a contender for album of the year. For those needing a definite answer, you could say that Nas is back, but for those who are in the know, it’s more accurate to say that Nas never truly left; he’s been here the whole time. Most were just too busy watching thrones to notice.

No diss.

  • pretty dope review…I look forward to checking out the album
     

  • Jeffrey Pulliam

    Nas is the last real nigga alive in hip hop! GOAT!!!

  • dj

    this cd is the hardest cd this year. i listen to the leaked copy all the way through and bought the collectors edition an hour later. Yall must show support 

  • Michael Heuberger

    sample from singer Guy in “Bye Baby”… Mistake. It’s singer Aaron Hall of the group Guy. Other than that, good review but not 9/10 but 10/10. Give me one other artist who drops an album with 19 tracks and all 19 are dope. Even if you wouldnt like the Swizz track you still have 18 classic tracks. Classic enough 4 me. 

  • The Brain

    I’m guessing yall dudes that already downloaded the album aint gonna go back n buy it when it drops forreal huh

    • Delando Fuentes

      I downloaded it and im still buying the original..Gotta support real hiphop in its truest form..This album def should be up for album of the year

    •  I downloaded it in order to review it. I plan to cop tomorrow the deluxe edition; I haven’t been this impressed with an album since K.Dot’s “Section.80”. Gotta support good music, man.

  • Big Crimes

    does it come out tomorrow? i’m gonna get that on vinyl.

  • Jas1ne

    Can’t wait to cop. This is how you make a classic album, don’t overload it with 50 plus rappers and producers.

  • illymac

    I cant wait til’ 7/17/12 to go get this album..

    Life is Good..

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  • YungKizz

    nas im gettin yall album tommorow son yeeeeeeeeeees

  • $11625525

    I’m in the UK and it came out at midnight, so I purchased the Deluxe version from iTunes.

    I gotta say, great album but I am not feeling that track with Mary J Blige at all… Is it just me or, does she only sound good live? For some reason it’s as though a studio cannot capture the dynamics in her voice properly and it just makes her sound like she’s screaming all the time, live on the other hand (I have seen her live) she sounds great.

    That’s the only thing that would stop me rating this album a 10/10.

    • We’re on the same page, lol.

    • ON MARY..I WOULD’NT SAY THAT..SHE SOUNDED GOOD ON MY LIFE 2 TO ME..

    • Sunset Dayshift

      i thought the mary j track was horrible thats the only track i didnt like either

  • NIKKA SAID ‘YOU AND YOUR STAR TREK FAM..I THINKIN YOU CATS ARE WEIRD’..LOL..
    THAT GUY JOINT IS MY SHIT THO..

  • hearcrickets999

    HAAAAAL YEEEEEEE AAAAA MY  NINJASSS,

    JUST GOT MYSELF A DREAM VEHICLE – A BLACKKK CA MA ROOOO SPECIAL EDITION.  I WAS IN REAL DEEP GUTTER FOR A WHOLE LOT OF YEARS – COUDN’T GET ANYTHING ON CREDIT- BUT ALL MY ISHHHHH IS FINALLY CLEARED AND ALL THOSE CRE DIT   PROBLEMS ARE DONE WITH FOR GOOD THIS TIME!

    IF Y’ALL GOT PROBLEMS WITH YOUR CRE DIT REPORTING AND YOUR HISTORY IS BAD OR TERRIBLE, GET RID OF DAT MothaFUCKAR TODAY!  CALL THESE PEOPLE AT EIGHT SEVEN SEVEN – 864- 1527.  THEY DID SOME OUTSTANDING WORK FOR ME.  AND THEY ARE AFFORDABLE AS FUKKKKKKKKKQQ.

    THEY GOT MY HOMEBOY IN TOP NOTCH SHAPE TOO AND HE HAD SOME TERRIBLE ISHH ON HIS HISTORY.  HE IS GETTIN A HOUSE VERY SOON!

    HIT DEM UP – THEY WILL DEFINITELY HELP YOU OUT VERY QUICKLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Dadon850

    See, this is my kind of hip hop. Love my 30+ year old rappers, that’s who I can relate to. I’m not knocking the young niggas, they make music for they peers. That’s what Nas is doing and I wish more would stick to what made them popular. I literally love every single song and will buy the delux in the morning. Hip hop lives

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  • This is a good hip hop album. Thank you Mr Jones.

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  • Great day for Hip Hop
    Lyricism Fire!!!!!.

  • Time: Tuesday 17th July 2012.
    Place: Newcastle Upon-Tyne, United Kingdom.
    Person: Andrew.
    Action: Life is good purchased on iTunes.
    Feeling: complete euphoria.

  • Jahb1911

    Great album.. Great to hear a legend great again..

  • bobdigi1

    this site always gives high score even giving an 8 or a 9 to 50’s new LP but to be fair this album is decent… falls off with couple of the generic rnb tunes and peeps like swiss on it but all in all one of nas’ best in recent times!!

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  • bisolabliss

    The Grammys for Best Rap Album for 2012 is really going to be something to behold, we’d have Nas (Life Is Good) and Common (The Dreamer, The Believer) going head to head. This’s gearing up to be a replay of ’94 when we had Snoop (Doggystyle) and Warren G (Regulate…G Funk Era) colliding at every award show.

  • Pingback: Nas’ ‘Life Is Good’ Album: Review Revue | Music News, Reviews, and Gossip on Idolator.com()

  • $18916246

    NAS! Copped the new joint….FIRE…..CLASSIC….FIRE! Amazing rhymes, Amazing word play, NAS, One of the best to ever emcee. One of my favorite emcee’s…he did it again. NAS stays true to himself and passes a great deal of wisdom over ill tracks….GO GET IT PEOPLE!

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  • I can’t believe this CD is this HOTTT!!!! FINALLY!!!!

  • Pingback: AHH Stray News: Nas Tops The Charts; 2 Chainz Announces Tour; Flo Rida Releasing Workout DVD | AllHipHop.com()

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  • I gotta give it to my mans… This big cd is the truth!!!

  • Nas is like… half man, half amazing.