By Rob Markman
You would think Nas would be used to this album release thing by now, but the man who has given us Illmatic, It Was Written and Stillmatic admits to MTV News that he’s “a little nervous” about putting the finishing touches on his 10th solo album Life is Good. His producer buddy Salaam Remi however, has the highest hopes.
When Nas and Salaam were mastering the album, the rapper admitted doubt started to creep in. “At this point when we’re mastering, I start to get a little nervous,” Nas told MTV News on June 12. “I start thinking about those records I could’ve, should’ve, would’ve done that didn’t make it.”
Remi, who worked with God’s Son on the majority of Life is Good, made it clear to Nas he has no doubts. The producer told him that the upcoming album reminded him of Amy Winehouse’s 2006 breakout Back to Black and the Fugees’ 1996 Grammy Award-winning LP The Score. Sounds like a lofty comparison, but Salaam produced on both Winehouse’s and the Fugees’ classic albums, so he is an authority on the matter.
It’s not that Nas lacks confidence, but in the past he has been known to leave some pretty amazing records on the cutting-room floor. In fact, on 2002’s The Lost Tapes, he unearthed gems like the soulful “Doo Rags” and “No Idea’s Original.” For Life is Good, however, Nas firmly believes that he has all the right songs on there.
Last November, Salaam spoke with MTV’s Mixtape Daily and described his friend’s recording process. “It’s always way more songs, Nas’s process is that he really records a lot and goes through different ideas and gets to that point,” he said.
With Life is Good, the rap great thinks he has the right mix of tracks, however. “I feel like the record is definitely one of my more focused records,” he said. “It’s only the mastering part that I get nervous [about], because I’m like, ’After it’s mastered, that’s it.’ ”
Already Nasir has released “Nasty” and “The Don,” two street singles that are reminiscent of New York’s mid-1990s hip-hop movement. His latest single, “Daughters,” is a reflective jewel where he examines his role as a dad. So far it sounds like Esco has a quality album on his hands and he doesn’t want to look back with any regrets. “Three years from now, when I’m listening to it, I don’t want to always think what I should’ve put on this record … just so it could be a complete piece of work,” he said. “But it is a complete piece of work.”
What are your expectations for Nas’ upcoming Life is Good LP? Tell us in the comments!