Nas – “Life Is Good”
By: Joshua Moore
Life is filled with many personal struggles and ups and downs. Nas’ life is no different. In the four years between now and his last album release he was involved in a highly publicized split with ex-wife Kelis (whose wedding dress appears on his album cover). In spite of his personal struggles he finds time to praise the life he’s lived thus far on his 10th studio album, Life is Good.
Nas uses the album as a chance for reflection, covering an array of issues including the perils of fatherhood in the single “Daughters,” street violence on “Accident Murderers” (featuring Rick Ross, who provides one of his better verses), and the destructive society we live in on “World’s an Addiction” featuring Anthony Hamilton. Nas is effortless on “Bye Baby” as he reminisces over his divorce over a sample of Guy’s “Goodbye Love.” “No Introduction” proves to be the most appropriate intro as each verse provides a look into Nas’s life on earth thus far.
Tracks such as “The Don” and “Loco-Motive” prove to his doubters that his lyricism and storytelling ability are still top-notch. He spits one of his better verses on “Stay” which tells the story of a gold- digging woman who he is involved with and the intricate relationship he has with those who wish for his downfall. Despite everything he wants them to stay around.
The album falls short in places that it shouldn’t with a few high-profile features. One of these is a dull Miguel cameo and a monotonous Swizz Beatz chorus on the blunder of a club banger “Summer on Smash.” It’s attempt at a radio friendly is muffled by Swizz who seems to be more of detriment than a help on the song. The track “Reach Out” also fails to fulfill expectations with a lackluster feature from Mary J. Blige who’s vocals just don’t seem to fit the song.
Despite its shortcomings, the album shines and is successful in giving an introspective view into Nas’personal struggles. The album proves that there is no age limit on growth and that no matter the struggle new beginnings can be attained. Life is indeed good.
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