Disclaimer: I know most people won’t agree with me in this post. I’ll just shrug that one off.
I’m going to start this post by saying I’ve purchased every album Nasir Jones has ever released, including Nastradamus. No one can ever question my allegiance to the Queensbridge MC. With that being said, I don’t get all of the hype around his new album, Life Is Good. I mean, the album is cool, but I truly don’t understand why everyone is treating it like the 2nd coming of Christ. Now, before I get assaulted outside my apartment, let me explain my reasoning.
When evaluating Nas’ career, the best you can say is he’s a supremely talented lyricist who hasn’t always made the best songs. While he’s always criticized for never making another Illmatic, I’m still an unabashed fan of a number of his records, namely It Was Written, I Am… and Stillmatic. The number one gripe fans and detractors have against Nas is his beat selection. He’s chosen some horrible instrumentals in his day. For example, there’s no excuse for a song like “Who Killed It?” I wholeheartedly wanted to punch Nas, Salaam Remi and will.i.am in the face after I heard that track for the first time. In any case, I’ve always heard people say, “I wish Nas would pick better beats. His lyrics are always dope.” In essence, I think that’s exactly what Life Is Good is. It’s an album where, for once, Nas didn’t pick horrendous beats. Now maybe I’m jaded, but I don’t think he should be praised for doing what he should have been doing the entire damn time. It took you long enough, Nas!
Besides that point, I hear people praising the album because it sounds like classic 90s Hip-Hop. Now, I hit my formative years in the 90s, so I love the “boom bap” sound as much as the next person. However, when are we going to let it go? An artist can’t grow because we pigeonhole them to one sound. I thoroughly enjoyed hearing Nas make 90s music in the 90s. In addition, he did it better back then anyway. Why listen to an album now that reminds me of better songs he made almost 20 years ago? I still own my copy of It Was Written, so I can simply listen to that. I’m sure I’m speaking blasphemy to a group of people right now, but I think we’re quick to get excited about music that doesn’t suck. Aren’t we supposed to expect that from the artists we support? Once again, I have nothing against his new album, I just believe the adulation has gone a little too far.
In the end, music is subjective, so everyone is entitled to their own opinion. I’m not trying to convince anyone to stop listening to the album. All I know is, I probably won’t be joining you. I’ll just stick to his old records. Good day and don’t shoot me.