Nas’ tenth studio album, Life Is Good, chronicles a slew of topics from the Queensbridge rapper’s life, from his earlier years in the projects to his most recent struggles. This includes touching on his issues with the IRS and the millions of back taxes he owed to his witnessing the death of innocent bystanders on the streets of New York. But the topic that stands out the most is that of his failed marriage with Kelis. Not only does he speak on their divorce multiple times, but that’s her green wedding dress he’s holding on the album cover.
As such, it’s impossible to not look at Life Is Good as a definitive statement from Nas. Say what you will about the album and whether or not it’s overrated–we don’t think it is, at all–but you must agree with the fact that he hasn’t sounded quite this focused in years. And I like to think that a big reason for that is, well, his life. Much has changed for the Nasty one since the release of 2008′s Untitled; though let’s not look over his and Damian Marley’s very good 2010 album, Distant Relatives.
To celebrate the release of Life Is Good, we wanted to look back at his relationship with Kelis by way of the songs they either recorded together or dedicated to one another. The following pages feature said tracks and some thoughts on them, both of which should help shed some light on their relationship and its culmination.