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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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Usher Releases "Peace Sign" Video Off Of 'A' Project

Given Monday's (Dec. 10) debate about who's the king of R&B, one of the names that steadily popped up in the conversation has stepped onto the scene. In a visual promotion for his A soundscape, Usher released the video for "Peace Sign" alongside producer Zaytoven.

Previously, the pair hit the studio for an eight-track project that pays respect to their hometown of Atlanta, Georgia. It was surprise-released in October and effortlessly fuses ATL's aura on the soundscape. Now, the "Peace Sign" video puts that decision into cinematic motion.

"Atlanta offers a certain attitude and a sauce that I can't explain, and it is a little bit in 'No Limit,' it is a little bit in 'TNT.' I'm literally talking sh*t, man," he said in an interview with The Fader. "I'm popping sh*t that I haven't popped, like really ever. And that's what being in the moment creates. When you have months and months to think about it and you begin to analyze all the people who you need to think of and what you want this entire project to work out, you'll lose certain elements of your spontaneity an incredible culture that just happens in the moment. I didn't give that space. I really was honest with the feelings, I was honest with the conversation and I was really in the moment. And I thank Zay for that."

Watch the video up top.

READ MORE: Tyrese, Usher And Others Reacts To Jacquees' Claim That He's The King Of R&B

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T.I. Releases Short Film For "The Amazing Mr. F**k Up"

T.I. keeps himself accountable for his wrongdoings in the cinematic visual for "The Amazing Mr. F**k Up."

Premiered Monday (Dec. 10) on his series T.I. & Tiny: Friends & Family Hustle, the track featuring singer-songwriter Victoria Monet, is flipped into a 10-minute-short film. Directed by Mike Ho, the short film stars comedienne Britney Elena, Colombus Short, Woody McClain and model Denise Rodriguez.

Starting at a fancy dinner gathering among friends, things take a turn for the worst when the rapper's other partner invades the feast. On the Dime Trap cut, T.I. calls out himself for his past mistakes and deviances with acknowledgment on how he needs to do better.

"It's amazing all the sh*t I done / Such examples I've been setting for my son / All she did was stay down and have my kid / All the time just to realize I ain't sh*t," T.I. spits. In addition to the rapper flexing his acting chops, the album version of the song includes the infamous scene in ATL between Tip and Lauren London, where his character snatches a necklace he gifted for New New.

The rapper is currently closing out the year on an impressive note as it was revealed that his music has been streamed 276 million times on the music streaming service Spotify. "A modest flex to end my 18th year in this sh*t!!!! Multitudes of Gratitude!!! #NextYearWeGoBigger!!!!," the Grand Hustle emcee tweeted on Saturday (Dec. 8).

Check out the video above

 

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Extra thx to @brittneyelena @woody_thegreat @mikeho_ @officialcshort and errrrbody involved in bringing this vision to life!!! #TheAmazingMrFuckUP out @vevo after tonight’s episode of Friends and Family Hustle!!! @vh1

A post shared by TIP (@troubleman31) on Dec 10, 2018 at 6:34pm PST

 

A modest flex to end my 18th year in this sh*t!!!! Multitudes of Gratitude!!! #NextYearWeGoBigger!!!! pic.twitter.com/7J6FFsUicS

— T.I. (@Tip) December 8, 2018

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Meek Mill Is Surrounded By His Day Ones In Visual For "Intro"

Self-proclaimed "Champion of the United States" and Philadelphia-bred rapper Meek Mill delivers the official music video for "Intro" on Monday (Dec. 10).

Directed by Kid Art, the three-minute visual frames Meek's mental state as he re-enters the rap game as he continues to battle the justice system as a young, black man. Presumably surrounded by those he considers family, "Intro" retrospectively takes a look at the 31-year-old's come up as a notable rapper out of North Philly.

Juxtaposing his current lifestyle with not-so-distant memories of the trenches, the video shuffles scenes of club confetti, bullet holes, poured out bottles of Ace of Spades and dirt bikes– a presumed nod to Meek's unjust jail sentence.

"Pouring champagne 'cause all my n***s dead/ If they ain't in the graveyard, then they in the feds/ I give a f**k if that crown heavy, put it on my head" spits Meek over the instrumental to Phil Collins' "In The Air."

Last week (Dec. 2) music engineers Young Guru and Anthony Cruz spoke to VIBE about Meek's choice to sample Collins' "In The Air Tonight" on the track, stating that "Meek had this vision" to flip the classic track since he first heard it in Paid In Full and was glad to finally make it happen in a standout fashion on "Intro."

If you haven't already, be sure to take a look at the official music video for "Intro" up top.

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