Nas – Rap legend and arguably the King of NY after the demise of Brooklyns finest,The Notorious B.I.G. Jay-Z fans will beg to differ, has spoken out about his 10th studio album, the reflective ‘Life Is Good.’ It comes 20 years after his debut that changed the rap game ‘Illmatic.’
Talking to MTV, Nas who once declared that “Hip Hop is dead” explains number one album, in his own words.
“A couple of years ago, I just started to really appreciate the opportunities that I’ve had, the places that I’ve traveled and the people I met and just the life that God gave me. So I felt like ‘life is good’ was a positive message that we should just say to each other during such challenging times. Just have to remember the important things, you know?”
The Album Cover
“I feel like album covers used to be just as important as the music. And to me, I’m still that kind of dude, like, I still feel like if you can come up with something cool for your album cover that makes the whole package more beautiful. The album cover, of course, you see what’s going on there: just love of life and appreciation of where I’ve come from and where I’ve been.
“On my first album, I said “life’s a bitch,” now I’m saying ‘life is good.’ That just shows you my journey has been peaks and valleys, ups and downs, obstacles, fun, all kinds of things that brought me to this place.”
The Recording Process
“This record was just me appreciating the people who listen to me for all these years and just understanding that it could’ve went a different route. I could be someone who don’t love the music no more. For this record, my appreciation for the music is there.”
The Cinematic Influence
“The scene in ‘Godfather II’ was at the end when Michael Corleone was sitting on his property after all the executive decisions he had to make. He’s sitting on his property just thinking.
“Bye Baby”: “That was a song that had to be done. It gets into my relationship that I had [with ex-wife Kelis] and why did things go wrong. You know, certain people just hit that point where they need to take a break or they need to move on separate ways. So ‘Bye Bye’ is a record that has that story line, from beginning to end. With life, you take [it] there’s wins, there’s losses, there’s bad, there’s joy, pain, all the emotions … life is still good, no matter what, you have to keep your head up.”
The Five-Word Description
“Hip-hop, jazz, it’s personal, love, it’s a great sound put together by No I.D. and Salaam Remi and myself; it’s all good.
“A lot of producers that I like, they sample a lot of jazz. They are inspired by jazz, so a lot of their music comes out that way. So a lot of the stuff I rapped on sounds like jazz. I was talking to Sting one time and he had heard Illmatic — someone played it for him — and he said, ‘It’s a jazz album!’ I love that he said that because I got jazz in my soul.”
Interview via MTV
You can buy Nas’s poetic ‘Life Is Good’ Here