Nas isn't too bothered by his Grammy drought, even if hip-hop fans are. By the time the 2013 Grammy Awards show concluded, God's Son had fallen to 0-for-13 in his storied rap career, beginning when his 1997 hit single "If I Ruled the World" lost the Best Rap Solo Performance award to LL Cool J's "Hey Lover." Surely after completing an album as masterful as 2012's Life is Good, many fans felt that Nas would finally hoist a golden gramophone, but accolades where the furthest thing from the legendary MC's mind.
"I didn't think awards. I didn't think that," he told MTV News correspondent Sway Calloway on Friday, just days before the big show. "I wanted the people to like some good music. I didn't even get to thinking this far. So it's crazy to think about where I started the record to now, it's a great thing."
Not only was Nas' Life is Good up for Best Rap Album, the LP's single "Daughters" snagged two nominations, one in the Best Rap Song category and another for Best Rap Performance. The Queens spitter's posthumous Amy Winehouse duet "Cherry Wine" rounded out his four 2013 nods in the Best/Rap Sung Collaboration field. The competition was stiff and Drake's Take Care took home Best Album, while Jay-Z and Kanye West dominated the other three fields.
Judging from Nas' demeanor during Grammy weekend, he is totally living by his Life is Good mantra. After a career that includes 10 solo albums and a number of group projects and compilations, how could he not? "I look at it like we already won," he said. "No matter what, we winners... I'm just having a good time, I'm happy to be here."
According to Nas' longtime friend and chief Life is Good producer Salaam Remi, when he and the rap iconic create they never do it with the Grammys in mind. "It's not to get the Grammy stuff, but our vibe and mode even while recording the album was: We won already," Remi told MTV News on Saturday. "If you look who's won over the course of his career, there was always something a little shinier, a little bit more friendlier. He wasn't the most commercial kid on the block, the most popular kid, but might've been the realest one."