I’m calling it now. Best Hip-Hop album of 2012 is Nas: Life is Good. It will take such an epic proportion of amazing to knock this off of repeat on my iPhone that I just don’t have the faith in hip-hop that I used to.
We’re both hitting 40 and it’s fantastic to hear his point of view once more. He’s got his ex-wife’s wedding dress draped over his knee on his album cover. He’s been through it.
The song everyone is talking about is Daughters:
The one I’m playing over and over and I’m head over heals in love with the NYC porn of a video is Don:
No Introduction: Nas waxes poetic about what brought him here complete with electric 80s drum beats. With gems of stories “I remember talking to Biggie inside his Lexus truck, he said stay fly when you’re bumming. Keep your pajamas Armani.”
Loco-Motive: (feat. Large Professor) As you very well know, I’m a subway nerd. This song comes straight from the rails. As I listen to this on the subway, I am smiling from inside out. “I know you think my life is good ’cause my diamond piece, but my life’s been good since I started finding peace.” And he gives love to Slick Rick!
A Queens Story: “Brooklyn keep on taking it, Manhattan keep on making it. Trying to leave Queens out” you all know how the story go… He gives a shout out to all the neighborhoods and paints a Queens picture only he can. “Put your glass high, if you made it out the stash spot, and here to tell your story, and celebrate the glory.”
Accident Murderers: (feat. Rick Ross) A harsh tale of those who kill hoping to making a name for themselves as a gangsta.
Daughters: One of my favorites on here. Nas, head of the badasses, becomes a father. Ha ha ha. He took the infamous Twitter fiasco of when his daughter instagram’d a picture of a box of condoms out and turned it into a song. “They said we’re the coolest players and foulest heart-breakers in the world – God gets us back, he makes us have precious little girls”.
Reach Out: (feat. Mary J. Blige) JOY!! Mary J is my girl and she brings a light and love to this tale of how Nas has grown up and matured.
World’s an Addiction: (feat. Anthony Hamilton) Another vintage Nas story about the ills of life and the world. “Life, savage ain’t it? Some need Xanax just to maintain it, we all need faith ’cause the world keeps changing, let go of the illusions, start some restraining. (just hold on, just hold on, just hold on…)”
Summer on Smash: (feat. Swizz Beatz and Miguel) I will hear this blasting out of the little Nissans with the lights all around the car. The punch line? The chorus is “life is good! life is good!”
You Wouldn’t Understand: (feat. Victoria Monet) Make ’em clap to this! A nice summer jam that really doesn’t move me either way.
Back When: I love to hear the story of how it all got started! I love this song. A sonnet to hip-hop in the 80s with adulthood. “…inside the editorials of the ghetto Queens King, stories are true, who possesses the testicular fortitude, to blow away myths, that’s an interest to all of you, you blame your own shortcomings on sex and race, the mafia, homosexuals, and all the Jews, it’s hogwash point of views, stereotypical, antisemitic like the foul words <Mel> Gibson spewed, and it’s pathetic.” WOH. Who’d a thunk anti-ism speech is the new way to rebel in hip-hop. Love it!
The Don: (produced by the late Heavy D) If I could still drop it like it’s hot, my booty would slap the ground dancing to this. I can’t get enough of this song. And the video. My god, it’s a work of art.
Stay: (feat. Large Professor) This is a homage to the smooth 70s. And a very interesting story in the Art of War way about one’s enemies.
Cherry Wine: (feat. the late Amy Winehouse) When I was in high school, I wrote a poem about the kind of guy I dreamed about. This is that poem, perfected and put to music with Amy Winehouse in the chorus.
Bye Baby: Ouch. “Listen, could you imagine writing your deposition, divorce lawyer telling you how this thing gonna be ending, with you paying out the ass, and I’m talking half, not some but half, no serious, HALF. Half of your soul, half of your heart you’re leaving behind, it’s either that or die. I wanted piece of mind.” From that to “At least I can say I tried, enjoyed the ride.”
Nasty: YA READY FOR NAS? Where have these beats been? Who cares? I’m loving this!!
The Black Bond: badasssss
Roses: “I heard you tear a rose from the roots, the rose screams.”
Where’s the Love: a tale of the human side of the train wrecks who have become stars and remembering the fallen stars. “There ain’t a mobster who I can name who made it out rich.”