Nas’ latest album “Life Is Good” will be known as one of the best hip-hop albums of 2012. Nas has one of the best lyrical skills in the hip-hop game and shows it on all his albums, and this album is no exception. The production is excellent – No I.D. and Saleem Remi nailed it. The album is a piece of hard-hitting hip-hop with soul and jazz textures. The lyrics are usually reflective – whether it’s about his relationship with his ex-wife, about life in the projects of New York City, or fame over the years.
Much of the album has a 90s feel to it. Most of the songs on the album are good. “Loco-Motive”, “Daughters”, “The Don”, “World’s An Addiction”, and “Cherry Wine” are my favorite five songs. “Loco-Motive” is hardcore hip-hop with some jazz textures. “Daughters” is a tale of an absentee father’s realization that he should be there for his daughter. “The Don” is a reggae tinged about the realities of New York projects. “World’s An Addiction” is orchestrated hip-hop where Nas ponders some realities of the world. “Cherry Wine” is a hip-hop-soul-jazz ballad with the late Amy Winehouse’s sweet vocals. “Daughters” and “World’s An Addiction” have the best lyrics, while “Loco-Motive” and “The Don” have the best beats.
Miguel’s guest spot on “Summer on Smash” and Mary J. Blige’s on “Reach Out” are pretty hot. The deluxe version has four bonus tracks. “Nasty” and “The Black Bond” are tracks that should have been worked into the main album, rather than as bonus tracks.
It’s hard to rank who’s the best MC in hip-hop. But any way you look at it, Nas is one of the best and is at least in the top ten. (4 1/2 stars out of 5)
—Isa R. Bufano (07/18/2012)