2012 IN GROWNUP RAP
Life Is Good
You all know how the story go. Here's what I wrote on the PopMatters Best Albums feature, where Life Is Good finished #36:
As he says, Nas must have half-naked pictures of God or something. Eleven albums in, he remains a spectacular rapper, albeit one who doesn’t need to make a spectacle of himself. Whether discussing his divorce, fatherhood, plans to topple investment banks, or summers on smash, Nas has honed his complex rhyme schemes for maximum ease of communication. He taunts young pipsqueaks who kill people accidentally; he sympathizes with a middle aged doctor contemplating uxoricide while performing surgery. He shouts out Kelis and makes their story interesting, even if you haven’t been following along. He hates when people write him hostile texts—who doesn’t? The guy’s turned into a wealthy charmer, and his producers’ opulent beats back him up, peaking with the orchestral banger “A Queens Story” but rarely flagging. In fact—do my ears deceive me?—Life Is Good might be a better album than his revered debut. At least, I’d rather listen to it.
And, just because I like when songs incorporate Chopin's "Revolutionary Etude":
Way better than Usher's Looking 4 Myself.