Life Is Good

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Nas Talks About Friendship With Amy Winehouse, Illmatic And The Price Of Fame At 92Y

Nas is finally having his moment. Rolling Stones’ Anthony DeCurtis got the legendary Queens rapper to spit the first rhyme he wrote at nine or 11; he doesn’t remember the exact age. The rhymes were impeccable for a kid under the age of 18. In that moment where the poetry of the first rhyme he ever wrote rolled off his tongue, it was clear to me his destiny was to become one of the illest MCs to ever bless the mic.

New York City loves Nasir Jones. A hometown hero of sorts. Following his stellar New Year’s Eve performance at Radio City, Nas was both transparent and funny during his one-on-one conversation at NYC’s 92Y last night. While gushing over Marvin Gaye‘s Here, My Dear, which he said influenced him greatly, he joked about the similarities between himself and the late singer. “He had tax problems. I got tax problems. Still do,” he said as the audience erupted with laughter. It was the many moments like the aforementioned that broke up the “monotony of seriousness.” Read more…

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What I’m Thankful For: Nas’ Life Is Good

What I'm Thankful For: Nas' Life Is Good

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.  Read more…

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The Bittersweet Taste Of Nas’ “Cherry Wine” Featuring Amy Winehouse

The visuals for Nas‘ personal desire to find love featuring the indelible Amy Winehouse has arrived. The soulful “Cherry Wine” with vocals from the late soul singer was an instant favorite from Nas’ 10th studio album Life Is Good. True to his word, Nas honored Amy in the video directed by Jay Martin. Nas is the loner bartender mesmerized by a beautiful customer. Peep the cherry he drops in her cocktail. Amy’s soul stirring voice plays over the jukebox while images of her performing flash against the brick wall of the bar. The new object of his affection teases him with seductive eyes as she plays pool alone.  Read more…

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Nas: Rap’s Self-Proclaimed “Most Mainstream Underground Artist” On What Makes His Life Good

An iced coffee with brown sugar is the only request of the legend who spent the previous night indulging in cigars and Moet filled champagne flutes at his release party for his 10th studio album. “You love brown sugar don’t you?” the director of Visual Media at Def Jam jokes, responding to his Starbucks request. “Damn right,” he says with a smile as everyone in the room erupts with laughter. That’s the side of Nas the public rarely gets to see.

Nasir Jones is exactly what you’d expect—no fuss, polite, no big entourage, mellow and somewhat quiet—that is until you get him going on something he actually gives a damn about. By mid-afternoon he arrives to the VH1 office still feeling nice from all of the bubbly consumed at NYC’s Bagatelle the night before. He’s dressed in a white and black t-shirt plastered with Mr. T’s face on it, white shorts and black Gucci sneakers. For a rapper his jewelry is modest. The two gold chains he rocks are far from gaudy, and his wrists are adorned with a gold watch and one bracelet. That’s it. At 38 he doesn’t look much older than he did on 2001′s album cover for Stillmatic. You start to wonder if he physically ages.

Bred in the largest housing projects in North America, the Queensbridge rapper dropped out of school in the ninth grade to pursue rap. Although he didn’t always know if it’d pay off, it did, in a big way.

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Life Is Good When You’re On Top, And Nas Is On Top With No. 1 Album

Life Is Good No.1

It’s a good thing we’re not Nas. With all the good news he’s had recently, we’re not so sure we could resist the temptation of celebratory cocktails every night. After the highly anticipated Life Is Good lived up to the hype, the numbers are in. Nasir Jones’ 10th album topped the Billboard 200 at No. 1 making this his fifth number one. According to Nielsen SoundScan, Life Is Good sold 149,000 in its first week, which is more than pop stars Usher (128,000) and Chris Brown (134,000) debuted. Don’t call it a comeback; because if you’ve paid attention, the Queens legend never really left. Read more…

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EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Nas Says ‘Hip-Hop Has Died Many Deaths,’ Doesn’t Get The Respect It Deserves

Six years ago Nas‘ conviction on the state of hip-hop–he believed it was dead–left several of his peers disgruntled and defensive. Ticking rap heads off aside, Hip Hop Is Dead charted at No. 1. How’s that for a non-response to the critics? On the day of his 10th album release for Life Is Good, VH1 talked with the master storyteller to find out what he thought about hip-hop today. Obviously the backlash years ago didn’t phase him because he said if he felt the genre was in trouble again, he’d say it. Again. Although he doesn’t think it’s dead right now, he thinks it has died many deaths. Read more…

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EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Nas Says ‘Hip-Hop Isn’t Homophobic Anymore,’ Support Of Frank Ocean Shouldn’t Be Surprising

Nasty Nas has been in the rap game nearly two decades, and with 10 studio albums his longevity is nearly unmatched amongst his hip-hop peers. To say he’s seen it all in the close to 20 years he’s been in the industry is an understatement. On the day of the release of Life Is Good we chatted with Nas about all things hip-hop. As someone who has worked with Frank Ocean on “No Such Thing as White Jesus,” meant for Nas’ current album but the recording session was lost, we asked him his feelings on hip-hop’s embrace of Ocean considering its homophobic past. And as a veteran of this rap thing, Nas wasn’t willing to hop on the “hip-hop is homophobic” ferris wheel. Read more…

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VH1 EXCLUSIVE: Nas Says If He Married Again He Wouldn’t Cheat

Nas has been beaming as of late in preparation for album number 10, Life Is Good. On the day of his album’s release,VH1 sat down with the legendary emcee to discuss the music and what makes life great. For Nas, Life Is Good represents an honest place of where he’s been and where he’s at today. The good, bad and ugly. One of the most introspective songs, “Bye Baby,” is about his ex-wife Kelis, the one whose green wedding dress he’s holding on the cover. In the song he raps, “Listen, could you imagine writing your deposition?/Divorce Lawyer telling you how this thing gonna be ending?/With you paying out the a–, and I’m talking half/Not some but half. No serious, half/Half of your soul, half of your heart you leaving behind.” Nas bears his soul over a Salaam Remi & 40 beat. Read more…

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Nas Celebrates Release Of Life Is Good With Champagne And Celeb Friends

Nas' Album Release Party

On the eve of NasLife Is Good release, he celebrated like any Don would–with champagne, cigars and friends. Nas had a busy night with a performance of “Daughters” on the Late Show with David Letterman, an interview with Hot 97′s Funkmaster Flex and his album release party at Bagatelle in NYC. When you’re a legend of Nas’ status there’s bound to be a lot of love in the room from peers. Throughout the night he shared laughs with Swizz Beatz, Busta Rhymes, Jay-Z, Q-tip and Jermaine Dupri. Also in attendance were Beyonce, Angie Martinez, Tyson Beckford and others.

Its been four years since Nasty Nas’ last solo album, the controversial Untitled. Early reviews are already pegging Life Is Good as one of the best in his catalog, and potentially one of the best albums of the year. His road to the happy space he’s in of living his best life (word to Oprah) has been one of overcoming many trials and tribulations. But the glow in his eyes at last night’s release is the look of a man that has triumphed. The look of success and longevity. Check out our gallery of a few pictures from last night’s celebration.

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Life Is Good For Nas And Swizz Beatz’s Performance At The ESPY Awards Despite A Boring Crowd

Life is good was the appropriate theme for last night’s ESPY Awards where accomplished athletes were recognized for their athletic successes. Gearing up for the release of his tenth studio album, Nas was the perfect person to invoke the feeling of living good with a medley of singles from his forthcoming Life Is Good. Like a true class act, dressed in a black tux he performed “Nasty,” “The Don” and was joined by Swizz Beatz for “Summer On Smash.” With DJ Lantern on the 1′s and 2′s accompanied by the live band, it felt like a classic hip-hop moment where the instruments were blaring and the lyrics meant something. Swizzy in a white tux elevated the energy on stage. Despite all of those things the ESPY Awards crowd seemed so…dry. We’ve seen grandmas less bored while watching The Price Is Right. Someone should have whispered to them, “Hey, you’re witnessing greatness.” Read more…