New York rap veteran Nas recently discussed his new Life Is Good album and why his 1994 Illmatic debut draws various jazz connections.
Nas said his new chart-topping LP title came from him reflecting on life achievements.
“A couple of years ago, I just started to really appreciate the opportunities that I’ve had, the places that I’ve traveled and the people I met and just the life that God gave me. So I felt like ‘life is good’ was a positive message that we should just say to each other during such challenging times. Just have to remember the important things, you know?” (MTV)
He also delved into his music, specifically Illmatic, getting considered jazz-influenced.
“A lot of producers that I like, they sample a lot of jazz. They are inspired by jazz, so a lot of their music comes out that way. So a lot of the stuff I rapped on sounds like jazz. I was talking to Sting one time and he had heard Illmatic — someone played it for him — and he said, ‘It’s a jazz album!’ I love that he said that because I got jazz in my soul.” (MTV)
The rap veteran’s new album toppled its competition this week.
Leading the pack this week is Nas’ Life Is Good album which landed at No. 1. According to Nielsen SoundScan, the LP has shelled out 149,200 units after seven days in stores. (SOHH Sales Wrap)
Late last year, “God’s Son” talked about his music inspriations coming from the late Michael Jackson and Miles Davis.
“I’m coming out with an album next year. I’m getting my music ready and working on it constantly. There’s no theme to it. Each song is about something totally different than the last. It’s about regular life,” Nas said in an interview. “Writing is good for you. If you don’t use it, you lose it. It’s good to work yourself and try yourself and see what you come up with. [My dad being a musician inspired me.] Yeah, definitely. But I was usually inspired by Michael Jackson, The Jackson 5 and Run DMC. Those guys really spoke to me. Miles Davis too. I really like jazz. It’s smooth. (Miami Herald)
Check out some recent Nas footage below: