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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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YG Takes The "Stop Snitchin" Rule Back To Slavery Days In New Video

YG is trying his hand at more cinematically stimulating music video fare for his newest release. For the past two weekends at Coachella, the Compton, Calif. rapper worked through grief and treated the massive crowd to a brand new single from his forthcoming album, 4REAL 4REAL.

During his Coachella set, "Stop Snitchin" called out loose lips from the likes of Tekashi 6ix9ine and others, but the official video released today (April 24) pivots in a totally different direction: to slavery. In the slightly comical visual, YG plays one of several slaves who plots to escape the plantation in search of freedom. However, an individual reluctant to flee falls behind on the night in question and, as the song title suggests, rats them out.

Don't expect the video to be any sort of conscious offering—it gets a little weird when he's hanging from a tree—but if you need a chuckle-inducing break from a stressful day, let a dancing, old cloth-wearing YG be your relief.

As you wait for the fast-approaching release of his album, now due on May 3, watch the video for "Stop Snitchin" up top.

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Lil Uzi Vert Returns With "That's A Rack" Music Video: Watch

Lil Uzi Vert is back! The rapper just dropped the music video for "That's a Rack" on Wednesday (April 24).

Nudity must be the theme of this video. The visuals open with Uzi weaving through rows of naked violinists and cellists. As it progresses, the camera shifts to naked women bathing and posing in blue paint.

"That's a Rack" arrives shortly after Uzi decided to come out of retirement. It follows "Sanguine Paradise" and "Free Uzi." "Free Uzi" was reportedly removed from streaming services, however, due to "licensing issues and copyright concerns."

Lil Uzi Vert is prepping for his next album, Eternal Atake. It's unclear when the album is slated to drop as Uzi has previously cited scheduling and production issues.

Watch the video for "That's A Rack" above.

 

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A post shared by 16 (@liluzivert) on Apr 23, 2019 at 4:28pm PDT

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Beyoncé performs onstage during 2018 Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival Weekend 1 at the Empire Polo Field on April 14, 2018 in Indio, California.
Larry Busacca/Getty Images for Coachella

Homecoming: The 5 Best Moments Of Beyoncé’s Documentary

Once Beyoncé became the first African-American woman to headline in its nearly 20-year history, we knew Coachella would never the same. To mark the superstar’s historic moment, the 2018 music and arts festival was appropriately dubbed #Beychella and fans went into a frenzy on social media as her illustrious performance was live-streamed by thousands. (Remember when fans recreated her choreographed number to O.T. Genasis’ “Everybody Mad”?)

With a legion of dancers, singers and musicians adorned with gorgeous costumes showcasing custom-made crests, the singer’s whirlwind performance honored black Greek letter organizations, Egyptian queen Nefertiti, and paid homage to historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). Aside from the essence of black musical subgenres like Houston’s chopped and screwed and Washington D.C.’s go-go music, the entertainer performed “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” also known as “The Black National Anthem,” and implemented a dancehall number, sampling the legendary Jamaican DJ and singer, Sister Nancy, to show off the versatility of black culture.

One year after #Beychella’s historic set, the insightful concert film, Homecoming, began streaming on Netflix and unveiled the rigorous months of planning that went into the iconic event. The 2-hour 17-minute documentary highlights Beyoncé’s enviable work ethic and dedication to her craft, proving why this performance will be cemented in popular culture forever. Here are the best moments from Beyoncé’s Homecoming documentary.

The Intentional Blackness

“Instead of me bringing out my flower crown, it was more important that I brought our culture to Coachella.”

Throughout the documentary, Beyoncé made it known that everything and everyone included in the creative process leading up to the annual festival was deliberately chosen. “I personally selected each dancer, every light, the material on the steps, the height of the pyramid, the shape of the pyramid,” says Beyoncé. “Every tiny detail had an intention.” When speaking on black people as a collective the entertainer notes, “The swag is limitless.” Perhaps the most beautiful moments in Homecoming are the shots that focus on the uniqueness of black hair and its versatility. What’s appreciated above all is the singer’s commitment to celebrating the various facets of blackness and detailing why black culture needs to be celebrated on a global scale.

Beyoncé’s Love And Respect For HBCUs

#Beychella — which spanned two consecutive weekends of Coachella’s annual festival — was inspired by elements of HBCU homecomings, so it was no surprise when the singer revealed she always wanted to attend one. “I grew up in Houston, Texas visiting Prairie View. We rehearsed at TSU [Texas Southern University] for many years in Third Ward, and I always dreamed of going to an HBCU. My college was Destiny's Child. My college was traveling around the world and life was my teacher.” Brief vignettes in the film showcased marching bands, drumlines and the majorettes from notable HBCUs that comprise of the black homecoming experience. In the concert flick, one of the dancers affectionately states, “Homecoming for an HBCU is the Super Bowl. It is the Coachella.” However, beyond the outfits that sport a direct resemblance to Greek organizations, Beyoncé communicated an important message that remains a focal point in the film: “There is something incredibly important about the HBCU experience that must be celebrated and protected.”

The Familiar Faces

Despite being joined by hundreds of dancers, musicians and singers on-stage, the entertainer was joined by some familiar faces to share the monumental moment with her. While making a minor appearance in the documentary, her husband and rapper/mogul Jay-Z came out to perform “Deja Vu” with his wife. Next, fans were blessed by the best trio to ever do it as Kelly and Michelle joined the singer with renditions of their hit singles including “Say My Name,” “Soldier,” and more. On top of this star-studded list, Solange Knowles graced the “Beychella” stage and playfully danced with her older sister to the infectious “Get Me Bodied.”

Her Balance Of Being A Mother And A Star

Originally slated to headline the annual festival in 2017, the singer notes that she “got pregnant unexpectedly...and it ended up being twins.” Suffering from preeclampsia, high blood pressure, toxemia and undergoing an emergency C-section, the entertainer candidly details how difficult it was adjusting post-partum and how she had to reconnect with her body after experiencing a traumatizing delivery. “In the beginning, it was so many muscle spasms. Just, internally, my body was not connected. My body was not there.” Rehearsing for a total of 8 months, the singer sacrificed quality time with her children in order to nail the technical elements that came with the preparation for her Coachella set. “I’m limiting myself to no bread, no carbs, no sugar, no dairy, no meat, no fish, no alcohol … and I’m hungry.” Somehow, throughout all of this, she still had to be a mom. “My mind wanted to be with my children,” she says. Perhaps one of the most admirable moments in the film was witnessing Beyoncé’s dedication to her family but also to her craft.

The Wise Words From Black Visionaries

Homecoming opens with a quote from the late, Maya Angelou stating, “If you surrender to the air, you can ride it.” The film includes rich and prophetic quotes from the likes of Alice Walker, Nina Simone, Toni Morrison, and notable Black thinkers, reaffirming Beyoncé’s decision to highlight black culture. The quotes speak to her womanhood and the entertainer’s undeniable strength as a black woman.

Blue Ivy’s Cuteness

Last, but certainly not least, Blue Ivy‘s appearance in the concert film is nothing short of precious. One of the special moments in the documentary zeroes in on the 7-year-old singing to a group of people whilst Beyoncé sweetly feeds the lyrics into her ears. After finishing, Blue says: “I wanna do that again” with Beyoncé replying with “You wanna be like mommy, huh?” Seen throughout Homecoming rehearsing and mirroring Beyoncé’s moves, Blue just might follow in her mother’s footsteps as she gets older.

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