The Queensbridge MC has returned. And once again one of the greatest lyricist of all time is Live At The BBQ like it’s the 4th of July, the kid is grillin’ wordplay and sparkin’ lyrical fireworks as usual. There’s nothing like refreshing hip-hop in the morning, s**t all day everyday for that matter. Life is Good is more than a solid contribution, it’s a big “I’m still that MC you catz dream to be.” If this album had an alternative name it would be “Man Up” because NaS doesn’t shy away from his publicized divorce with his ex-wife pop artist Kelis. Life is Good is what’s good in hip-hop straight from the intro with “No Introduction” produced by Justice League. One of the already released singles “Nasty” along with “Daughters” which is a great take on the father’s perspective and trust in raising a girl to be a woman in this full track by No I.D. with an equally fresh music video.
One of my favorite tracks because of its honesty is “Bye Baby” produced by Salaam Remi & Noah”40″Shebib. It’s a song with a cleverly used sample of the infamous R&B group Guy and their street smash “Piece of My Love” in which Nas goes in a little in-depth about the good times and bad times to the end of his relationship with the misses. Please believe this work is all about his marriage, he goes into the essence of taking you on a tour of the hood in his story telling with Salaam Remi laced track “A Queens Story.” As the beat drops only over melody the keys of black & white ivories he spits: Now I’m the only black in the club with rich Yuppie kids/Sad thing, this is the top, but where the hustlers went?/No familiar faces around, ain’t gotta grab the musket/It’s all safe and sound, champagne by the bucket/Where them n****s I shouted out on my first sh*t?/Bo cooking blow, f***ing slay that, where Turkey went?/Old videos show n****s that was murdered since/Another reason to get further bent/Put your glass high if you made it out the stash spot/And here to tell your story and celebrate the glory/Drinks in the air for my n****s not here/This for the fallen soldiers/Hold it down, I told ya/Pop another bottle and keep the smoke rollin’.
What other way to be classic than to do a Salaam Remi, Rodney Jerkins, DJ Hot Day & Nas track featuring the Queen of Hip-Hop Soul Mary J. Blige with “Reach Out” and “Loco-Motive” featuring the one and only Large Professor by No I.D. Just in time for the summer and bangin’ in the clubs is “Summer On Smash” produced and featuring Swizz Beatz & Miguel will definitely have you droppin’ the top and poppin’ that Ace reiterating life is good. It wouldn’t be a NaS album without the Icon droppin’ some knowledge on the masses and he succeeds with “World’s An Addiction” featuring the soulful vocals of Anthony Hamilton with It’s better to dead a beef than let it breathe, then we don’t succeed/Cause then you gotta murder dummies/Waste your time they allergic to money/I’m never squeamish to blood, we can thug, and get out of hand, what’s the options?/Only conclusion is shooting bullets, poppin, hoodlums droppin’, fear any day that the feds will come knocking. With the assistance of Salaam Remi, Da Internz & God rest his soul the Icon Heavy D delivers the infectious track “The Don” and “Accident Murderer” featuring Rick Ross reclaiming his spot as a legend in the game. Although she will be missed NaS lets us relive and enjoy the classic voice of a fallen songstress Amy Winehouse on “Cherry Wine.”
“You Wouldn’t Understand” accompanied by Victoria Monet NaS reminisces hanging with some hustlers stackin’ dough and cruisin’ lavish before they eventually hit the bing. The deluxe version contains songs produced by Boi 1da, Salaam Remi and No I.D. produced “Where’s the Love” featuring a Roc Nation conglomerate with the exception of Common named Cocaine 80s which includes James Fauntleroy, Makeba Riddick, No I.D., Kevin Randolph, Steve Wyreman & Rob Kinelski. NaS and “Life Is Good” is the one of those solid hip-hop totally infused with essence of hip-hop resurrecting the music that was once thought to be dead or on life support about to get the plug pulled. If you had any doubts if life was good for NaS, peep this well put together artwork to feed that cultural hunger. If you ask me, NaS’ life is pretty damn good right now so cop it and experience the good life.