Legend. That’s a word that’s not lightly thrown around in the hip hop environment. There’s a general consensus that about four names, depending on who you ask, sit atop rap’s Mt.Rushmore. About 24 hours have passed since Nas’ tenth studio album, Life Is Good, hit the net and this particular legend did not upset.
It’s been argued that lately, Nas’ music hasn’t been up to par with the other half of the living legendary fold. We’ve all been guilty of pairing Nas with the introspective collective of rappers. As mighty as this sword was, it seemed to have reached it’s peak on his last album, Untitled, as he left the listener wanting street tales. The thing about legends is that they have the gift to come right back around and become relevant again by tuning into what an audience is saying about them.
The intro track, aptly titled “No Introduction” and produced by the J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League, puts you back into the pain that inspires Nas’ motivation from the first line. As many successful rappers seem to notice, success isn’t always all it’s been lived up to be as surroundings and a lost sense of reality are portrayed in “Queens Get The Money.” Similar to Nas’ signature style, “Daughters” addresses the activities of his child and how they’re a direct impact of his own lifestyle.
The willingness to bare your soul and tell your viewpoint on a story that the whole world saw is the main tool of legends and is displayed on a song that’s an ode to his former wife, Kelis, on “Bye Baby.” Using the failed marriage as a stepping stone into personal happiness, we can tell that Nas’ public relationship and it’s scrutiny is behind him.
Legends are able to overcome obstacles and roadblocks in their career, put their life on record, and instantly become relevant in a hip hop scene where many are pursuing their spot. Nas’ album serves as a reinforcement that doubt in his ability, given personal setbacks, isn’t a deterrent to why he is cemented as a legend and also gives another reason as to why his life is good.