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View Full Version : XXL Mag gives Nas' "Life Is Good" a XXL rating


Big Smokes
07-17-2012, 03:10 PM
finally got a good review


The last line of Nas’ Illmatic still rings true 18 years later. The Queensbridge lyricist never fell. He never ceased to be celebrated as one of the most revered wordsmiths in the game, but—though he’s continued to cement his legendary status with solid efforts album after album—he hasn’t come close to matching his best works in quite some time. The tide, though, has changed with Nas’ 10th LP, Life Is Good.

As has historically been the case, Nas is at his best when facing adversity. His last two superior releases—2001’s Stillmatic and 2002’s God’s Son—were inspired by his heated rivalry with Jay-Z and the death of his mother, respectively.

This time around, a divorce with R&B singer Kelis and reports of outstanding tax liens are at the center of his topical palette, which still ranges from fly sh-t to revolutionary ideals, as evidenced on the opening number, “No Introduction.” “Hood forever, I just act like I’m civilized/Really what’s in my mind is organizing a billion Black muthafu-kas/To take over JP and Morgan Goldman and Sachs/And teach the world facts and give Saudi they oil back,” he rhymes. He comes closest to addressing his alleged financial troubles on the No I.D.-produced, “Loco-Motive.” “I started out broke, got rich, lost paper then made it back/Like Trump bein’ up down up, play with cash,” he offers.

Creatively, Nas continues to reinvent the wheel. He takes reckless shooters to task on “Accident Murderers” featuring Rick Ross—the LP’s only rap guest appearance—and retraces his fatherly missteps on “Daughters.” On the Amy Winehouse-assisted, “Cherry Wine”—a song that sounds like a lost cut from the British singer’s Frank sessions—Nas fantasizes about his dream girl, before coming to terms with his failed marriage on “Bye Baby.” Over Salaam Remi’s sampling of Guy’s “Goodbye Love,” Nas finds closure with a heartfelt letter to Kelis. “Wanted you as my shorty since before I saw you screamin’, ‘Hate you so much right now’/Should’ve saw the man in angry Black women/Actions of a demon—I’m leaving,” he spits.

Nas’s beat selection has long been called into question, but not this time. Salaam Remi and No I.D. split the bulk of the production for a cohesive sound bed filled with soul and jazz overtones. Though the Swizz Beatz-produced, “Summer on Smash” has potential to garner radio play, it feels out of place and is the disc’s only substandard moment.

Still, Life Is Good is arguably Nas’s best album since Stillmatic. In a climate where substance is scarce, Life Is Good is necessary. It’s potent from the excellent cover art to Nas’s sharp bars. It’s balanced. The Queens MC is open, but not emo. Hard, but thought-provoking.

On “Reach Out,” Nas rhymes, “And you become better than legends you thought were the greatest.” Again, the Nasty MC’s words ring true. At this juncture—21 years and 10 solo albums in—no other MC has ever rhymed at such a high level this deep into their career. Not Rakim. Not Kool G Rap. Not Slick Rick. Not Big Daddy Kane. No One.

main_man
07-17-2012, 04:31 PM
finally got a chance to listen to this.

the albums dope.
nas aint lost a step on the mic. he deserves his legend status and this album proves it.


biggest missteps: leaving off "nasty" for that god awful swizz beats joint.

hey kids: if you want to fuck up a song real bad and make it wack as shit, hire swizz beatz.
http://netstorage.metrolyrics.com/artists/large/11649/swizz-beatz-LOS-ANGELES-CA-FEBRUARY-13-DJ-Swiss-Beatz-arrives-at-The-5-109068179.jpg

DUMBO
07-17-2012, 04:32 PM
I'm not going to comment on the album review because I haven't listened to it yet, but XXL is stupid for saying Slick Rick and KGR haven't maintained their skills. Although Slick Rick hasnt done anything for too long, his last album was lyrically awesome and KGR keeps dropping heaters. Rakim hasn't fell off either.

cap
07-17-2012, 05:07 PM
Nice!! today i got the deluxe edition (incl nasty) in the mail! loving it!!!!

a queens story is one of nas' best tracks ever!

infinite vagina
07-17-2012, 05:51 PM
42RML92tDyQ

THE MASON
07-17-2012, 08:53 PM
sold out of this album with 3 hours of opening today at work

i was impressed that many people even knew and had to turn away a bunch, glad i can buy these before release date

David Daniel Davis
07-17-2012, 10:21 PM
finally got a chance to listen to this.

the albums dope.
nas aint lost a step on the mic. he deserves his legend status and this album proves it.


biggest missteps: leaving off "nasty" for that god awful swizz beats joint.

hey kids: if you want to fuck up a song real bad and make it wack as shit, hire swizz beatz.
http://netstorage.metrolyrics.com/artists/large/11649/swizz-beatz-LOS-ANGELES-CA-FEBRUARY-13-DJ-Swiss-Beatz-arrives-at-The-5-109068179.jpg

I do not know why; but whenever Nas and Swizz Beatz do tracks together it never works out.
He proved after the year 2000 that he was capable of making beats with more than just his signature horns, scratches and snares but just cannot seem to get it right when working with one of the most insightful emcees of all time.

DThayer36
07-17-2012, 11:07 PM
Loving this album minus Summer on Smash. Nas killed it

Jin10304
07-18-2012, 12:04 AM
dude in the interview contradicts himself lol

8
07-18-2012, 09:29 AM
Good album. 4/5 after 1st listen. Nas' flow and lyrics are immaculate. But a "XXL" is an exaggeration, to say at least. Hard to argue with the last paragraph of the review though. Oh and the Swizz joint doesn't bother me much. Nice little party joint sprinkled in there.

SL33
07-18-2012, 09:52 AM
Supreme production. I haven't listened to the leaks before and therefore I'm surprised.

'Accident Murderers', 'Loco Motive' and 'Reach Out' are my favourite song. Nas' delivery is very agile, props for that. That Swizz song is bullshit though.




Judging by its cover, I thought this album would be very weak.


3.5/5, solid replay value....

ShaDynasty
07-18-2012, 12:25 PM
"stuck in the 90s niggas".

thats how nas should approach all his albums, play to your strengths.

summer on smash ain't that bad. swizz occasionally makes a nice beat, but why let him rap or chant a hook? hes wack and he says everything the same way, his voice is annoying i don't know why rappers put him on their shit. like pharrell on a hook, thats some pimp shit, swizz on a hook is like "how can we make this song significantly worse?".

TheFunkyDrummer
07-18-2012, 03:08 PM
42RML92tDyQ

That review is actually on point. I laughed when I saw and heard this hahaha:
RhC_H9sFHCk

This album is garbage, it really is. What is Nas even talking about, he has concepts but they're unfinished and this track Daughters is just a track to reach the mainstream, look at me I have a daughter, she does this and that, y'all have daughters and feel this shit Retweet it. Pussy album. It's worse than Nastradamus, even though that wasn't a good album it was real. This is fake shit. Nas voice is still dope but he's talking about bullshit all the time. What's up with the imagery.. Even most of the similes he has on this album suck.

8
07-18-2012, 04:14 PM
lmfao wtf that dude is dumb and lost as hell. look in his eyes, they spell out D.U.M.B.

claaa7
07-18-2012, 05:28 PM
XXL is a fair rating, considering they don't deal with half ratings... lyrically it's 5/5 for me, besides that bullshit Swizz Beats joint.. but the beats is 4/5 so an XXL rating is perfect. the source should give it 4.5/5 considering they gave "untitled" that.

ShaDynasty
07-18-2012, 05:32 PM
i think its a good album, very summery rnb feel though, theres nothing here that really counts as 'hard'.

massive step up from his last few albums imo. that being said the sentiment 'life is good' doesn't ring true when you're rapping about loser kids, failed marriages and people that shoot their friends by accident.

SHEEPISH LORD OF CHAOS
07-18-2012, 06:29 PM
i can see this getting way better press than untitled and better reviews i'm gonna review this week or next week needed time with the album to cement some thoughts on it but tracks like "bye baby", "accidential murderers", "no introduction", "nasty", "the don", "loco-motive" and "a queens story" are all bangers and the production was very on point.

THE MASON
07-18-2012, 06:54 PM
i think people might be over looking World is an Addiction. that beat is just mad cinematic and Nas got one of those voices that can carry thru a track like that, plus the lyrical content is some real shit.

sakk
07-18-2012, 10:03 PM
This album is a banger and a display of elite flow.

josborne3680
07-18-2012, 10:18 PM
Only listened once so far but was very happy with it. Nas is on point through the entire album. A couple weak/RnB style beats. But that happens with Nas. The 4 bonus tracks help and are very dope. XXL? I dont know. But its def a good album and proof that Nas has to be considered as the GOAT. Peace and enjoy good music

Jin10304
07-18-2012, 10:59 PM
"theres nothing here that really counts as 'hard'"

The Train, Nasty, The Don & even the Intro go in that vein

ShaDynasty
07-19-2012, 03:04 PM
"theres nothing here that really counts as 'hard'"

The Train, Nasty, The Don & even the Intro go in that vein

jesus why are you such a pedant? most of it is melodic stylee.

'the don' counts i guess. but i like the 90s rnb style when its done right like this.

want that dj premier collab album though.

claaa7
07-20-2012, 02:59 AM
i think people might be over looking World is an Addiction. that beat is just mad cinematic and Nas got one of those voices that can carry thru a track like that, plus the lyrical content is some real shit.

HELL YEAH!! "World is an Addiction" is one of the illest songs on an already fantastic album; most of the songs Nas get real personal, and he always delivers then, but his other main strength is vivid story telling and "W.I.D." is one of his strongest story telling joints in year. i'm too lazy to quote anything but you know the song of course...

plus it has Anthony Hamilton, perfect choice for a guest on that particular song, one of the realest and best singers of his generation. if you haven't yet, check out his "Comin' From Where I'm From"; no guests, but a good mix of hip-hop sounding beats and vintage 70's type soul. one of the best soul albums in a long, long time.

as for the production, this shit is EPIC!!!!!! yeah it's an overlooked track no doubt.

josborne3680
07-20-2012, 05:31 AM
"Worlds an Addiction" is the best song on this album that nobody is talking about. Peace

Ghost In The 'Lac
07-20-2012, 11:40 AM
It's about 8 songs too much but if you take out the 10 great songs (basically the first half) its massively superior to anything in the last 10 years.

Jin10304
07-20-2012, 06:29 PM
"jesus why are you such a pedant? most of it is melodic stylee.

'the don' counts i guess. but i like the 90s rnb style when its done right like this.

want that dj premier collab album though."

Well its just it was stated that NOTHING on LIG has hardcore tracks which simply is not the case, I merely pointed it out thats all regardless of the direction the album mainly dives into. LIG was the album he wanted out of the way before he got down with Premier.

claaa7
07-21-2012, 06:34 AM
in my earlier post i said that XXL was a fair rating, and while i think it's GREAT that Nas is getting an XXL rating (which he deserves at least as much as Kanye's latest, and a lot more than "Trill O.G.), i misread it as him having gotten an XL rating...

that's why i said that since they don't give half points that was fair, meaning that 4.5 is what this album is worth for me - lyrically it's a 5/5 album, but beats is by no means higher than 4.0, and that's probably a little bit of a stretch.

BRONZBODY
07-21-2012, 10:30 PM
its a dope ass album, only wack joint was that bullshit swizz cheese did....