Exclusive: Nas Talks ‘Life Is Good,’ Cover Art, and Collaborations

Life Is Good

Hip-hop heads rejoice. Nas is taking it back to his roots with his 10th album Life Is Good, due July 17. In the second part of Rap-Up.com’s exclusive interview, the hip-hop legend opened up about making “timeless” music and collaborating with No I.D. and Salaam Remi, who handled the bulk of production. Get some insight into the album’s direction (’90s meets 2015), the two featured guests he has in mind, and the inspiration behind the shocking cover art.

What was your mindset going into this project?
My mindset was to pull out a side of me that people haven’t heard in a while and give ‘em that feeling that they haven’t felt in a while—a feeling that I love. And some of that feeling is ’90s-esque, some of that feeling is 2015. It’s just a feeling that I feel to be a timeless sound. So I just let it flow.

Who did you work with?
No I.D. and Salaam Remi are both producers who were making music in the ’90s and still make great music today, so they were best-suited to work this project ’cause they really lived it as well as I have. When we wanted some of that ’90s sound they were able to give it, but still keep it sounding like fresh original music. There’s a few different people who I grabbed beats from and we’re sequencing the record now. You might hear something from one or two other producers, but it’s basically No I.D. and Salaam.

Are there any features on the album?
I didn’t really see where it would fit. The only people I really wanted were AZ and Rick Ross. I’m just tryna see where I can place that on the record now as I’m sequencing.

“Another Black Girl Lost” leaked. Is that going to make the album?
We were thinking about putting it as a bonus, so we’ll see.

You have everyone talking with the album cover. Can you walk us through the concept?
Life, love, joy, anger, celebration. There’s so many things you can see on that album cover. You see my life. My life is on that album cover.

Was that your idea? How did that come together?
It just happened. It happened on its own. It was not a lot of effort at all.

We saw Kelis’ green wedding dress on there. Did you hear from her or her people?
We just put it out, so it’s still way too fresh.

Do you think you will be hearing from her?
Eventually at some point.

-D.L.

Previous: Nas Talks Summer Jam, Nicki Minaj vs. Hot 97, and Lauryn Hill



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28 Comments

  1. Humz

    Really can’t wait for this album to come out.

    [Reply]

  2. Nas On ‘Life Is Good’ Artwork: “My Life Is On That Album Cover.” | YouHeardThatNew

    [...] RESPECT: RU [...]

  3. @LowKei_

    Nas refuses to be even a little bit commercial. And Nas’ album sales continue to be mediocre.

    [Reply]

    Treyy Reply:

    @@LowKei_,

    You think he cares? There’s a reason people call him a rap legend.

    [Reply]

    Ethan Reply:

    @@LowKei_, the path of a true artist.

    [Reply]

    YES Reply:

    @@LowKei_, If mediocre means having 8 multiplatinum/platinum & 3 gold albums then let Nas continue to refuse to be “a little bit commercial.” Refusing to be commercial is working out just fine for him, considering that most commercial artists with hits on the radio today don’t have gold or platinum plaques to show like Nas.

    Nas is a legend who proves that commercial is not the only way to be successful in hip hop because EVERY LAST SINGLE ONE OF HIS SOLO ALBUMS HAS EARNED HIM A CERTIFIED PLAQUE!

    So in case you were trying to diss Nas’ album sells…I hope you know that Nas has been proving the commercial theory wrong for damn near 2 decades…HATERS!

    [Reply]

    young$$MOVEMENT; Reply:

    @YES, THAT’S RIGHT!!! Those are all facts and they speak for themselves..Nas always sold records

    [Reply]

    be Reply:

    @YES;,

    youre telling half truths.

    nas’ albums are which are platinum have been available for over 10 years. his last platinum album was streets disciple which was 2004. not to mention a very different economy. his last 4 albums have have gone gold at best. going gold over multiples years is nothing to brag about. the way you’re telling it you make it sound like he went platinum in a month. his last album untitled came out in 2008 and its only gold. 4 years to go gold. his sales were decent in the 90′s, but that was 15 years ago. right now you got nothign to brag about.

    [Reply]

    YES Reply:

    @be, I’m not telling “half truths,” you are trying to add the years & the economy in which his albums were released and correlate that into when Nas went platinum or gold last. The years or the state of the economy were not a part of the topic and it doesn’t discredit the “WHOLE TRUTH” that Nas has 8 platinum & 3 gold albums to date. The original statement made by @Lowkei, was about Nas having “mediocre album sells” NOT about the years/economy those albums charted.

    For you information @be, Nas last 4 solo albums are “God’s Son,” released December 13, 2002 went platinum on January 14, 2003 (one month after its release date), “Streets Disciple,” released November 30, 2004 and went platinum on November 18, 2005 (one year after its release date) and making it Nas’ 7th consecutive platinum album in the US. “Hip Hop Is Dead,” released December 15, 2006 went gold selling over 598k copies by February 2007 (went gold 2 months after its release date) and sold over 764k copies as of November 2008 and “Untitled” released on July 15, 2008 went gold on September 11, 2008 with 544k copies sold (2 months after its release date). It did not take Nas “4 years after the release of “Untitled” to go gold.” So as far as me NOT having anything to brag, that was never my angle but you sure as HELL need to find something else to hate because Nas plaques are written in stone…20 years & still counting HAHA!!!

    So regardless of when or how long it took for Nas’ albums to go platinum does NOT matter, what matters is that Nas has the plaques TODAY to show & prove and there is NO “HALF TRUTHS” in that…so please take your HATER card and find another angle to hate because Nas’ #’s are proven. By the way, it took “Illmatic” 10 years to go platinum. It’s not where you start it is how you end and Nas’ albums have always ENED up earning him a platinum or gold plaque NO MATTER how long it takes because he is a GIFTED LEGEND!

    [Reply]

    msteefromdc Reply:

    @YES, Damn, I luv it! yes school these children!

    Tbones Reply:

    @YES, bravo @ schooling that ignoramus, I hope leanrs from this annihilation b4 hitting the keyboard next time to spew ignorance n hate. Niggies fear wat they dont understand, hate what they cant conquer.

    Miles Reply:

    @be, Platinum is a platinum record regardless of how long it took to get it. Nas is one of the greatest of all time and I’ll be supporting this album.

    [Reply]

  4. Felipe

    I don’t really care how much he sales, his music will continue making history

    [Reply]

  5. Nas Explains “Life Is Good” Album Cover | Sorry4TheBlog.Com

    [...] Sits Down w/ Rap-Up And Explains The Concept Behind The Life Is Good Album Artwork. You have everyone talking with the [...]

  6. Replay

    Fuck this dude wannabe king… he sounds in every song same and just do the same songs this dude is boring.

    [Reply]

    Bizz Reply:

    @Replay, so why are you here than? I’m here cause I like Nas…the rest of us (besides your butt buddy @LowKei_) are as well. You could have been doing the rest of us a favor by playing in traffic or walking across the interstate but naw, you too busy hating on the next man. Smh, go sell a record guy.

    [Reply]

  7. Miles

    I thought he was collabing with Tyler The Creator and Frank Ocean :-(

    [Reply]

  8. Nas Talks ‘Life Is Good’ Cover Art, Collaborations | HYPETRAK

    [...] check out the sit-down in full, head on over to Rap-Up. Source: Rap-Up TAGS: Hip Hop, Nas  [...]

  9. DJ Scream | Nas Talks “Life Is Good” Album & More

    [...] at Rap-Up. VN:F [1.9.17_1161] please wait… Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast) VN:F [...]

  10. Nicey

    mediocre sales and not one album under gold?..numbers man, numbers..gotta look that up man..

    [Reply]

  11. Gerrie

    weak album cover

    [Reply]

  12. TRA

    Nas is one of the greatest rappers ever. Nas has made 8 platnium albums, Nas has nothing else to prove. Nas has proven time and time again that you don’t need commercial success all the time to stay relevant. As long as the music is great, that’s the only thing that matters. There is nothing wrong with having commercial success, but if the music is not great, then that means you are selling off of popularity alone. Nas has had both critical success and commercial success throughout his whole career. I am still looking forward to Nas’ Life Is Good Album.

    [Reply]

  13. Nas Explains The Concept Behind “Life Is Good” Album Cover | RAWHUSTLE.COM

    [...] July 17th. On the cover, Nas could be seen holding his ex-wife’s wedding dress. Talking to Rap-Up, Nas explains the concept behind the artwork and if he has heard from Kelis [...]

  14. Nas Talks ‘Life Is Good’ Album Cover, Producers & Features | HipHop-N-More

    [...] Rap-Up recently chatted with Nas about the unique concept behind the artwork for his upcoming album Life Is Good and the features & producers we can expect to hear on it. Don’t expect anything fancy, unless he doesn’t want to reveal it at this point. [...]

  15. TheDreamer

    This will probably be my fave album of this year. Nas never fails to impress. It doesn’t matter how much he sells. I love the singles he’s released so far.

    [Reply]

  16. Swap

    Men fuck you..nas is real than atha rappers..evry braggin abt money wen they cant even pay child support @Replay,

    [Reply]

  17. Capo T

    Nas is greatest of all tym,niggas shud stop hating on this dude,he raps the truth ,knows how to tell a story,and still delivers a message…..now tell me which atha rapper can do that? All thy eva do is talk abt is money,ho’s,cars n wack shit,most of the so called ‘best rappers’ are turning into pop artists/rnb eg wayne,drake ,minaj#smh

    [Reply]

  18. Nas Talks ‘Life Is Good’ Concept | From A Girl's Point Of View

    [...] gearing up for the release of his 10th album, ‘Life Is Good’, Nas got a chance sit down with Rap-Up. The Hip-Hop lyricist spoke on the concept of the album cover, [...]

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