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5 Reasons "Life Is Good" For Nas On His New Album

By now, we hope that you've had a chance to sit and listen to the new Nas album, Life Is Good—the tenth studio album for Nasty and his first solo project since 2008's Untitled. It is, as the title suggests, really, really good. From the lead single, "Daughters," to the emotional "Bye Baby," which details the Queens MC's breakup and divorce from ex-wife Kelis, Nas has a real gem on his hands. This album has to be one of his best, right?

We'll leave the debate over where Life Is Good fits into Nas' catalog to you guys. But, to help him celebrate the release of his new project and to prove to you just how highly we think of it, we do want to let you know a few of the things that we love about the album. So, we put together a list of the 5 Reasons "Life Is Good" For Nas On His New Album. Whether you're pressing play on the album for the first time—or the 50th time—these are just a few of the reasons Nas is winning with Life Is Good.

Reason #1: No I.D. (pictured above) and Salaam Remi handle the majority of the album's production.
The last Nas album, Untitled, had a few solid beats on it. But, for whatever reason, Nas decided to work with a different producer on almost every single song. From Jay Electronica and Mark Ronson to Polow da Don and stic.man of Dead Prez, Nas featured a different producer on every track. That led to an album that, at times, felt really disconnected. That's not the case on Life Is Good. It features a handful of No I.D. beats and a handful of Salaam Remi beats that pull everything together and make the album sound cohesive. Kudos to Nas for going that route instead of simply pulling beats from all of the of-the-moment producers out there.

Reason #2: The changes in Nas' life give him plenty to vent about.
From the troubles he's had raising his teenage daughter to his very public divorce from Kelis, Nas has gone through a lot since the last time we heard from him. It probably was pretty painful for him when he was going through it. But, now that he's come out on the other side and had time to reflect on it, he's put a lot of it into his music to show that he's not all that different from everyone else. He has problems. He struggles with things. But, he works through them and eventually learns from them. As a result, life is good for him now. That's a message that everyone can relate to.

Reason #3: Nas recognizes what rap fans want—and he's still able to give it to them.
"This is for my trapped-in-the-'90s n-----!" Nas says at the end of "Loco-Motive," which sees him reunite with Large Professor. And, he's right—the song does sound like something that Nasty Nas would have created back in 1994. But, it also sounds right at home on Life Is Good and doesn't sound forced at all. It's certainly not the first time Nas has pulled that off. But, it is nice to know that, even 18 years after his debut, Illmatic, Nas can still create the kind of stuff that leaves fans reaching for their rewind button every 30 seconds.

Reason #4: Nas outshines Rick Ross on the album's lone guest appearance by a rapper.
Was this really smart on Nas' part—or just a coincidence? Either way, Ross, arguably the hottest rapper in the country right now, makes an appearance on the standout track, "Accident Murderers," and gets outshined by Nas. That's not to say that Ross doesn't hold his own with a rap legend. But, that is to say that Nas proves that he can still hang with (and, at times, outshine) the new guys when he raps alongside of them. Not all rap vets can say that today. But, for Nas, it's a challenge that he still welcomes.

Reason #5: The good easily outweighs the bad on Life Is Good.
Is Life Is Good perfect? No. There are some missteps on the album. For instance, we're still not sure whether or not we can rock with the Swizz Beatz track, "Summer On Smash" and there are several R&B-tinged songs that don't sit well with us. But, every time we run into a problem, we just play "Cherry Wine," featuring Amy Winehouse, or "A Queens Story" or "The Black Bond" or "Roses" or…well, you get the point. Those songs let us know that Nas put work in to make sure that Life Is Good would be good. And, he definitely succeeded.

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Gucci Mane, XXXTentacion, & More Friday Releases You Need To Hear

Another week, another list of Friday music releases. The week's of 2018 are dwindling, but there is a little more time left for some last-minute music releases. From Gucci Mane, to XXXTentacion, and Ice Cube, here are the albums and singles that you need to hear.

Gucci Mane – Evil Genius

Gucci Mane's 13th studio album is here. The rapper dropped his new project, Evil Genius, featuring an all-star list of talent, including, Quavo, Kevin Gates, Lil Skies and 21 Savage. The LP also features production by Metro Boomin, Murda Beatz and Southside.

The latest music drop marks the perfect finish to an eventful year for Guwop. He previously dropped DropTopWop, Mr. Davis, and El Gato The Human Glacier this year. Even so, the rapper suggested that he wants to make a bang with Evil Genius.

"I think this time, this album was like the first time I kind of had more fun making the records," he said during an interview with Beats 1. "With the intentions of just going in the studio and just had fun and this is what came out. But before, I was kind of going and expressing myself, talking through the mic, like I had a lot of my chest. This album was like, let's find the best beat, make the best song and put it out."

XXXTentacion – Skins

In celebration of XXXTentacion's posthumous album, Skins, his estate and friends through a livestreamed event at 9p.m. EST, featuring Trippie Redd, PnB Rock, Ski Mask the Slump God, Matt Ox and more.

There has been quite a bit of buzz surrounding the late rapper's new release. It's his first since his death in June 2018. The album features only one guest appearance from Kanye West. On the track, which is entitled "On Minute," Ye reportedly addressed abuse allegations brought against X. In support of the album, Kanye also released a Yeezy capsule collection, commemorating their single.

Since X's death he has been regarded as a young legend, gone too soon. His sophomore album ?  peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart. Listen to Skins below.

Ice Cube – Everythang's Corrupt

Ice Cube is make with Everythang's Corrupt. The album's only feature is OG rapper Too $hort.

Cube already got fan excited after released the one of the LP's single "Arrest the President." The track takes aim at President Trump's corruption and racist policies. The album's cover art features Cube holding a 100-dollar bill in his bloodied hands.

Everythang's Corrupt is Cube's tenth studio album and his first in eight years. It's a follow-up to 2010's I Am the West.

Sneakk Ft. YG & Tyga – "Spray"

New artist Sneak has joind forces with YG and Tyga to bring their new banger "Spray." It's Sneakk's first track released through Def Jam. The single definitely sounds like the new stripper anthem or the perfect track to ride down the block to.

Ahead of the single's release, the rapper's shared a teaser on social media featuring a behind the scenes look at their music video.

Michelle Williams – "Fearless"

Michelle Williams is back. The songstress – best known as a member of the popular girls group Destiny's Child – recently dropped a new solo record entitled "Fearless."

The pop record is an inspirational anthem, encouraging fans to face their fears and chase their dreams. This is a huge moment for Williams, as it is her first single in nearly four years. It also follows an overwhelming year for the singer, who got engaged in Apr. 2018, as well as publicly revealed her battle with depression and mental illness.

Listen to the new track below.

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Premiere: Fuego And A. Chal Take Over The Strip Club In "Dancin" Music Video

Dominican trap artist Fuego has created an ode to the art of stripping with his new single “Dancin,” featuring producer and R&B extraordinaire A. Chal. The visuals for the track are laced with bright blue club lights and brief salacious interludes of voluptuous young ladies dancing provocatively.

The two are seemingly in a never-ending party in efforts to promote strip club etiquette through their tantalizing lyrics. There's no denying that Fuego's sound is reminiscent of today's prominent trap artists like Migos and Future, but he packs in a Latino flair, like his contemporaries Bad Bunny and El Alfa. The Washington D.C. native's sound is similar, but it's worth noting he's been on the scene for a while, steadily etching his mark as his musical prowess rises within hip-hop and Latin audiences.

“For some reason, I've always wanted to do a sound that American hip-hop has, and then break that my way,” he tells VIBE. “When it comes to putting stuff together and making fusions of music, I've done it all my life. When I first started out, I did reggae beats, but I was rapping over them. There’s a little more urban, hip-hop sound in the Latin community. Before, it was mad reggae. It either had to be a tropical type song or reggaeton song. I've always wanted to come out with hip-hop music."

Watch the video for "Dancin" below.

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Noname Tells A Tale Of Black Boy Plight In 'Blaxploitation' Visual

Noname's first music video is better than expected as the artist takes on the topics of dangerous implicit biases toward young men of color.

On Tuesday (Dec. 4), the Chicago rapper/poet released "Blaxploitation," a standout from her critically acclaimed album, Room 25. Directed by Alex Lill (Sampha, Joey Bada$$,  Lil Yachty) and written by Noname, the short film includes homages to Blaxploitation films of the 70s through its the style of multiple frames at once as a toddler wrecks havoc on a small-scale version of Chicago.

The music video gives the metaphorical message of how the black boy is criminalized from the beginning of his life. Even in the joy of imagination, his existence is subjected to a criminal or as the townspeople deem him: a monster baby.

The 27-year-old singer will continue riding high off the critically and streaming success of her debut album Room 25 as she will embark on a 37-city trek across the country and Canada.

The Room 25 tour kicks off in Detriot on Jan. 2nd. Dates can be found here.

READ MORE: Noname To Replace ‘Room 25’ Album Art After Designer Abuse Accusations

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