It seems like the last couple albums, Nas has made more headlines with his titles than the actual songs on the record. In 2006 the rapper declared Hip-Hop Is Dead while the follow up went Untitled after he announced he was going to title the album a word I am not allowed to use. His latest album Life Is Good may not sound as controversial as his previous two until you get a glimpse of the cover art where Nas has his ex-wife’s wedding dress (which Nas claims is the only think she left behind in their house when she left) draped across his lap.
Not surprisingly Life Is Good is heavily influenced by Nas’s marriage and subsequent divorce to Kelis. None more so than the song that closes out the album Bye Baby where he directly talks to his former flame and baby mama and recounts their history. Due to the subject matter, this is his most grown up album to date. For those keeping track at home, this is his tenth solo album, a rare milestone in hip-hop, especially as he remains relevant. Or close to it, some could argue he has not had a hit in almost a decade (which is probably why he has gone with controversial titles lately to stay relevant).
And Life Is Good probably will not change that trend either. When he gets around to releasing a Greatest Hits package, Nas will rival anyone in the history of rap, but it is hard to image anything from this album making his Greatest Hits unless he feels obligated to put one of these songs on it. Sadly one of the better songs, the old school Nasty is resigned to the Deluxe Album Bonus Tracks as it would not have sound out of place on God’s Son. For the album proper, the best song is the reggae tinged The Don produced by Salaam Remi who has also produces his great Made You look track.
The most noteworthy track on the album is Cherry Wine featuring Amy Winehouse (also produced by Remi who turned a Marvin Gaye song into her Tears Dry on Their Own) but it is weird hearing her posthumously sing about alcohol considering how she died. After that, the most talked about track is Daughters where Nas opens up his relationship with his and coming to terms with her growing up. Since I cannot relate I really cannot get into the song. But at least he did not sample or shout out John Mayer in the song.
Song to Download – The Don
Life Is Good gets a on my Terror Alert Scale.