Nowadays it seems that rappers are multiplying like gremlins. Some are good, some are awful, and some I can’t even consider as an artist. As a music listener, I have tried to evolve and keep an open mind to all aspiring talents; however, I always seem to gravitate to the emcee’s that I’m used to. It has been almost 20 years since I first started listening to hip-hop, and I’m still in search of the PERFECT album. Nasir Jones is perhaps the only emcee who has come close to accomplishing that feat as his debut album, Illmatic is arguably the best album ever released. Nas has seen his ups and downs as an emcee, but none are as important as the 1994 release of his debut. After releasing his tenth solo album this week entitled Life Is Good, Nas has once again poured his personal life into his music and created a gem. However, just as we always do, we have to dissect the body of work in order to truly appreciate if life is in fact good or not.
The production on this album is very traditional and expected from a legendary emcee like Nas. The album cuts have a similar sound all the way through, which give it a great feel from start to finish. They’re all very emotional, very passionate and give Nas a beautiful blank canvas to create masterpieces. Some uptempo songs, and some not so much, at times you get a feeling of familiarity, but in no way is that a bad thing. Horns, piano keys, symbols, snares, melodies and samples give the album a wonderful sound. It’s as if each beat gives off that classic vibe giving the listener the pleasure of enjoying the good ole ways of hearing the tracks. I hate to be one of those people that’s say, “man this is old school”, cause it’s not… But I love the nostalgia that is created in every track. Even the more “radio” friendly sounds… Still have infectious 808′s and loops that make you want to blow out your speakers or simply vibe out while having a lazy day around the house. I do feel that a few of the beats are a bit to similar, but that’s just me. I would have much rather heard No I.D. or even DJ Premier do the entire album instead of having so many big names producers. Again these are just small irritation that I had… I can’t love everything about it right?