Nas Returns: Life Is Good (A Review)

Life Is Good: 25/27

Nas, Eric? Really? Another rap review?

YES, butthead, another rap review. Perhaps if some rock stars would make a half decent album that I had any interest in listening to and writing about I’d give you a review of a rock group. However, there has not been interesting rock music in what seems like a long time. Plus, I reviewed Sigur Ros in June, which is kind of rock-ish, so get off my case for the sake of everything pure and good! As it stands, rap is what I want to tell you about. Good or bad, rap is interesting. Just like Keeping Up With The Kardashians.

However, it is surprising that I’m reviewing Nas. Nas has been disappointing people for longer than he has impressed them. Seriously though he is like the proverbial Prodigal Son who returns home at 29 after finishing a PhD in English Literature only to live in your basement and watch reruns of Alf for hours and hours.

Nas started out on an exceptional high note with 2 outstanding albums (Illmatic and It Was Written) and seriously plummeted from there. He was not only possibly the best rapper of his time, he also changed the way the game was played. It Was Written was released 17 years ago and for the past 17 years Nas has tried so very hard to ruin everything he did for rap. That is, until now.

This past week Nas dropped Life Is Good, which I ensure you is not named after those ridiculous “outdoorsy” t-shirts dads with X-Large cargo shorts, Birkenstocks with socks, and bucket hats wear.

Nas’ album is so much better than that post-hippy clothing company. Listening to Life Is Good puts me back 17 years when Nas was crazy good. When listening to a cassette tape could blow your mind. It’s classic Nas. An album that reminds us what hip-hop is really like. A reminder we seriously need since we are now allowing Justin Bieber to rap (gross).

In part we have producer and rap legend, No I.D., to thank for an impressively solid album filled with songs and music that allow Nas to shine. It isn’t trying to hard and it isn’t disinterested. It’s the classic ‘cool guy’ from everyone’s high school experience (that dreamboat, Steve). And just like Steve, everyone should be into Life Is Good.

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