Nas previews ‘Life is Good’ album in New York. (Full Review)

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 6 years ago '10        #1
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PrinceDeville25 24 heat pts24
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Nas previews ‘Life is Good’ album in New York. (Full Review)
 

 
Whose world is this?
Moments ago as I perched, humming on the rim of a potted tree by the Hudson River, an intriguing bird joined me and strutted inches away while I mused on the events of last night. In similarly close proximity 12 hours prior (June 14), I watched as Queensbridge representing Hip Hop legend Nasir “Nas” Jones stepped before a Hennessy and Belvedere sipping intimate music/media crowd at the Skyline room of The New Museum, New York to exclusively share snippets of nine tracks from his new album. Life is Good.

Among the event’s 100-150 attendees were Erick Sermon, Marsha Ambrosius, Skyzoo, Nas’ brother Jungle, and Bronx-raised Grammy-winning producer Swizz Beatz – who crafted several cuts on the new album alongside No I.D. (“The Train,” “Daughters”) and Salaam Remi (“nasty,” “The Don,” “Black James Bond”).

“When I came to Def Jam the artist I was most excited to work with – and even just be around as a fan – was Nas,” President of Def Jam Joie Manda told the room before introducing him. “This album that he made, I think, is one of his best. I think he continues to raise the level of excellence… and you’re about to hear it.”
Enter Nas.
“Life is Good…” he addressed us all, individually acknowledging his friends and fam in the room before setting the context; “Thank God for live, cause this sh-t is beautiful. I been going through a lot of sh-t, but we all go through our sh-t. No matter what life is still good. I feel good-er than a motherfu-ker. This sh-t feel beautiful. Now I want to take you – with me – through this sh-t.”


A shiny red Dell lay centre-stage helmed by DJ D. Prizzy, as a fresh-faced Nas calmly sipped a bottle of champagne to one side behind the speakers, a fat unlit cigar in hand. Dressed in dark Gucci shades and two gold diamond chains, a tattoo poked out from above the rapper’s white vest, paired with striped shirt, white jeans and matching Adidas shelltoes. Blaring through stacked speakers with healthy bass, little information was provided on each track – the music spoke for itself.

“So I decided, now I’m in charge” – the first track opened with Nas verbally attacking the beat, fluid storytelling and personal, reflective lyrics flowing passionately over an even-paced, thumping bassline. “Some of y’all might know Kelis; this goes to her with love…” My eyes wander to the green gown draped over his leg on the album cover.

“I live it and I speak it, my religion is Ether” he spits ferociously on the next number, with a raging guitar opener and lyrical flow representing well “for my trapped in the ’90s n***as.”
Loaded with rich orchestral samples, solid basslines and a f!ghting flow from the lyricist, the playback session earned reload after reload, Swizz Beatz nodding fiercly in a Life Is Good fitted cap as he stood next to Nas, whose crew rocked animatedly behind the decks, 20 deep.

The opening notes of “Daughters” brought Nas rapidly back to front of stage, framed by the speakers, mic in hand, passionately reciting the lyrics live over the track just inches from the front row of the eager, receptive listeners.
“This is some ghetto sh-t, this is how it supposed to be though,” Nas smiled from the stage at the hot, reactive room. “It’s a very nice place, we made it hood though!” Acknowledging fellow fathers and enjoying his moment, the energy of Nas’ evident hunger, passion and progression filled the room.


“This is a great album – and I don’t even talk about my albums like that,” he shared before taking it back to the music. “This record is very fu-king important, goddamnit! I don’t need no fu-kin’ money – I just need New York to feel good on that real sh-t.”
With a banging ’80s sample of New Edition‘s “Once In A Lifetime Groove,” Nas’ rapid piano-backed verses proclaim “I was the good seed, he was the wild flower.”


Guest features on the album include Maybach Music’s Rick Ross on “Accidental murderer” with his “memoirs of a rich n***a,” whilst “Summer On Smash” features Miguel – the latter’s producer Swizz joining Nas onstage to play hype man and announce, “We come up from the streets… and in the streets we have fun too – this is our Hip Hop fun record,” before bounding back into snippets of the lively, club track baring a frivolous, feel-good chorus ["look at baby girl showing her a.ss," "neck got a whole lotta glass," etc].
Joking with the small crowd about bottles being thrown at the event, Swizz alluded to the rumoured Chris Brown and Drake/Meek Mill kaffufle at Teyana Taylor‘s New York launch party a few nights earlier. “I got my blazer on and my hawk in my pocket – let’s go!” he cracked, bounding across the tight mini-stage.


The impressive selection we were teased with thus far was more than solid, but the final track of the session truly sealed the deal.
Quickly shouting out Erick Sermon in the audience Nas screamed a question at the room: “Can I take you to the motherfu-king darkside??” Likening the sound and impact to that of the Diddy/Bad Boy era a la G. Dep‘s “Special Delivery,” Swizz promptly spazzed on the mic and enlisted the room of willing participants to the next song’s opening chant – “This that street sh-t n***a, fu-k that weak sh-t!” – bouncing around the small stage and knocking the all-important laptop off its stand, almost breaking the damn thing as Nas spat; “My instincts got me in this Kurtis Blow culture.”


We never got to hear the whole song, as wanton as the room was. By now the music desk was a mess with knocked glasses and bottles, the party as much on stage as in the crowd and Nas concluded: “We got one,” adding, “we might drop that tomorrow…” – Swizz vigorously agreeing.

I can’t personally recall attending an industry playback with as much genuine interest and passion in recent years. And having captured hearts and minds around the globe since his 1994 debut Illmatic, Nas deserves it. “This sh-t was hot and hood – and I love that sh-t,” he concluded before saying his thanks, goodbyes and exiting.
Back with a hungry flow, rousing soundscapes and the pure but ferocious energy early Nas stans crave, could his new album be an Illmatic for 2012?
Life is Good. Out July 17.



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 Nas previews 'Life is Good' album in New York | Recap + Video | SoulCulture

44 comments for "Nas previews ‘Life is Good’ album in New York. (Full Review)"

 06-16-2012, 08:01 AM         #2
Hotboy1982 
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Damn I can't wait until this ish comes out, sound like its gonna be a good one indeed.
 6 years ago '05        #3
Wondah_Woman 7 heat pts
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 Hotboy1982 said:
Damn I can't wait until this ish comes out, sound like its gonna be a good one indeed.
Ditto
 6 years ago '05        #4
Gremlin 1107 heat pts1107
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[video - click to view]


be interesting how they flipped this
 06-16-2012, 08:41 AM         #5
Francis Schilke 
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one more month tho, need this sh*t now
 6 years ago '10        #6
PrinceDeville25 24 heat pts24 OP
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Havent been this excited for an album like this in a long time.
 6 years ago '09        #7
messy marv stan 4691 heat pts4691
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too long to read

nas should sign to gunit to save his pathetic career

nobody wants to hear him ramble in his usual monotone voice
 6 years ago '07        #8
KnicksLost 17 heat pts17
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Classic in the making
 6 years ago '04        #9
LordBlanco|M 51 heat pts51
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 messy marv stan said:
too long to read

nas should sign to gunit to save his pathetic career

nobody wants to hear him ramble in his usual monotone voice
this dude needs to get beat down with a bag of thoughts.
 6 years ago '07        #10
FuckyaBarsNHook 4 heat pts
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Illmatic 2012 ?
 6 years ago '08        #11
Andre3stacks 20 heat pts20
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If he doesn't get it pushed back I plan to purchase. I dont even purchase albums like that.
 6 years ago '11        #12
PotheadFocker 174 heat pts174
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I wonder if D Dot Omen made it in the listening party?


































 6 years ago '09        #13
UrbanEnterprise 88 heat pts88
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 ChiCity Fingaz said:
The final nail in the coffin of the idea that Jay is better than Nas
um that happened long ago, bp3 was garbage

watch the throne was average

nas damian marley>>>jay and kanye
 6 years ago '12        #14
Dee352 170 heat pts170
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 fu*kyaBarsNHook said:
Illmatic 2012 ?
 6 years ago '12        #15
ALTheGreatS 23 heat pts23
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Gawd's Son bout to feed us again
 6 years ago '05        #16
Vancouver 11 heat pts11
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"I live, I speak it, my religion is Ether."

This album is gonna be so dope.
 6 years ago '05        #17
benadreal 
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I was more excited about it before reading how much Swizz Beats seems to be involved... I really hope that 9th wonder beat made it somewhere on here as well.
 6 years ago '09        #18
UrbanEnterprise 88 heat pts88
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 benadreal said:
I was more excited about it before reading how much Swizz Beats seems to be involved... I really hope that 9th wonder beat made it somewhere on here as well.
or how about that forgotten elusive one million dollar beat he bought from the neptunes supposedly
 6 years ago '10        #19
PrinceDeville25 24 heat pts24 OP
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 benadreal said:
I was more excited about it before reading how much Swizz Beats seems to be involved... I really hope that 9th wonder beat made it somewhere on here as well.
Not happening...........
 6 years ago '10        #20
PrinceDeville25 24 heat pts24 OP
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 UrbanEnterprise said:
or how about that forgotten elusive one million dollar beat he bought from the neptunes supposedly
Not happening either........
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