Thanksgiving is the one time of the year no one will judge you for your gluttony. Quality time with family is always joyous, but let’s keep it real: It’s the food that makes this holiday a common favorite. Nas is not as fond of the holiday as me,”They call it Thanksgiving, I call your holiday hell-day ’cause I’m from poverty, neglected by the wealthy,” he rapped on “Poison,” but that doesn’t keep me for being thankful for him creating a masterpiece this year.
When Life Is Good dropped July 17, 2012 (I’ll never forget the date because I interviewed him the same day), Esco season was upon us. The lead up to the album created high expectations because, well, a) it’s Nasir Jones and b) every single he released was extraordinarily great. “The Don,” “Loco-Motive,” “Daughters” and “Cherry Wine” featuring Amy Winehouse all indicated he had something special with his 10th studio album. Despite the lyrical genius the Queensbridge rapper consistently delivered single after single, the incessant chatter commenced. ‘Did he release too many singles? Is the rest of the album going to be wack?’ Ye ye of little faith. As a diehard fan of this man for 16 years now (yes, literally since I was 11), I knew it wasn’t all hype. And it wasn’t.
Months passed after the release of Life Is Good and the unanimous decision among hip-hop heads was that Nas had released the best rap album of the year. Sorry to all who’d like to give Kendrick Lamar‘s good kid, m.A.A.d. city that title. Nas was on his grown man excellence with Life Is Good. As a complete body of work it takes us back to Queens “where it all got started” then transitions into present day–raising a teenage daughter, divorce, wanting to love again. The songs not centered around any of those themes are laced with intelligent lyricism and grade A production.
You may be thinking, ‘Well, that’s find and dandy, but why be thankful for an album?’ It’s not just any album. It’s a timeless piece of art. But in all honesty I’m more thankful that Nas is finally getting the collective credit he rightfully deserves. Don’t get me wrong, it’s well understood he is one of the greatest to ever bless a mic (the greatest as far as I’m concerned), but one of the common complaints is that he’s not consistent with making great albums. In a weird way hearing countless lovers of music and hip-hop purists give Nas his due props felt like a celebratory moment. For the LP to chart at No. 1 made his victory all the more sweet.This Thanksgiving, Life Is [indeed] Good.