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Thread: XXL Mag gives Nas' "Life Is Good" a XXL rating

  1. #1

    Default XXL Mag gives Nas' "Life Is Good" a XXL rating

    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.

  2. #2

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    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.
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    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.
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    THE ILL ONE cap's Avatar
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    Nice!! today i got the deluxe edition (incl nasty) in the mail! loving it!!!!

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


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    Winter is Coming THE MASON's Avatar
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    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

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by main_man View Post
    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.
    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.

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    SHAOLIN STUDENT DThayer36's Avatar
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    Loving this album minus Summer on Smash. Nas killed it
    A million strands of spider webs weaved to make my vest
    Chi energy compacted deep within my inner chest
    One touch of my eagle claw clutch, rips your guts, brass head kill you fast with rapid head buts, ninja spying, the ammo flying, the steel iron blow a nigga neck from his head like dandelions

  9. #9

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    dude in the interview contradicts himself lol

  10. #10

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    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.
    Last edited by 8; 07-18-2012 at 11:16 AM.
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    Hungry Hyena From Medina SL33's Avatar
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    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....




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    Rum Ham ShaDynasty's Avatar
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    "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?".

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    Veteran Member TheFunkyDrummer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by infinite vagina View Post
    That review is actually on point. I laughed when I saw and heard this hahaha:


    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.

  14. #14

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    lmfao wtf that dude is dumb and lost as hell. look in his eyes, they spell out D.U.M.B.
    A wise man told me don't argue with fools
    cause people from a distance can't tell who is who
    - Jay-Z

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    Killer Bob claaa7's Avatar
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    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.



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