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Universal acclaim- based on 107 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 98 out of 107
  2. Negative: 4 out of 107

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  1. Jul 17, 2012
    Lyrically one of the best rap albums in YEARS!!!
    Nas never left so it's crazy to say "HE'S BACK!". Just listen to this musically beautiful and lyrically intelectual album. Old rap fans will be pleased just as new ones.
  2. Jul 17, 2012
    Here's a secret about Life Is Good: It is the BEST RAP ALBUM OF THE DECADE THUS FAR.

    Before you even read this review, know this: Professional reviews for rap albums are almost meaningless. Pitchfork gave My Beautiful Dark and Twisted Fantasy a perfect 10. That album has a 94 rating on Metacritic, while this album is floating in the low 70s. This album is BETTER. Nas has once again
    perfected the art of song writing in Hip Hop. His flows and lyrics land over the beats effortlessly, and he has something on this album he did not have on his last effort Untitled: AMAZING PRODUCTION.

    When you hear people criticize a Nas album, it's always for one reason: his production. This time around, however, Nas paid close attention to the streets, and Salaam Remi did not disappoint on his end of the music. In addition to long time collaboration with Salaam Remi, Nas also enlisted No ID, Kanye West's mentor, to bless the album with the smooth, laid back ferocity that he laced Common's The Finder/ The Believer album. Justice League gives Nas another great introduction track (Nas has not had a less than stellar intro since The Prophecy on Nastradamus). And of course by now you have surely had the perfectly executed track The Don, which was produced by the late hip hop legend Heavy D with some great after-touching by Da Internz. And for the old school fans still stuck in the 90s, Nas gave them something extra special: not one, but TWO songs featuring The Large Professor. One listen to the track Loco-Motive will have fans wondering if this track is an updated cut from Illmatic. The production on this album is even better than amazing instrumentation used on Nas and Damien Marley's 2010 collaboration album Distant Relatives.

    So happens now that Nas has good beats? Well, with this one flaw corrected, this album is nearly flawless. Nas spits some of the craziest rhymes in years, and does it with a variety of style and grace. The story telling on A Queens Story paints a picture of early 1990s Queensbridge so vivid that eyes need not be closed to envision Nas' words come to life upon entering the listener's ears. The alliterations and metaphors used on World's An Addiction cannot be matched by any other rapper in hip hop, other than maybe Jay Z on his A-game. Cherry Wine is one of the standout tracks on the album, as Salaam Remi produces a smooth classical ballad on which Nas shows his maturity as a man and the late Amy Winehouse sings a soulful and infectious chorus that really leaves one wishing she had lived longer to make more beautiful music.

    In a 14 track album full of great material, if there is one track that deserves its own special praise and the status of CLASSIC, it must be track number 5, Daughters. Here Nas provides Hip Hop with the first single ever dedicated to the struggle of a single man raising his daughter. Pac had Dear Mama for mothers, Will Smith had Just the Two of Us for sons, and Nas had already made two songs dedicated to his father with Poppa Was a Playa off of The Lost Tapes compilation album and Bridging the Gap from Nas' 2004 Street's Disciple double album. Nas now completes the family with Daughters as he weaves together an introspective tale about his performance as a father and the now-famous ordeal he faced when his daughter Destiny posted a picture of condoms on her dresser on Twitter. This track embodies everything Nas is idolized for: brutal honesty upon reflection, great wordplay, amazing storytelling, and conceptual songs few in hip hop would dare to even attempt to craft. If there is a flaw to be found on the album, it is with Nas' attempt at commercial appeal with the sure-to-be radio single Summer on Smash. Swizz Beats provides a typical Swizz Beats track and Nas flows well over the beat, but the rhymes are nothing special. While this is expected of a radio hit, the problem is not with Nas or Swizz, but rather the feature of young RnB singer Miguel, who raps a lazy verse and then proceeds to sing a decent bridge. Miguel just seems out of place on the song, but I'm sure Def Jam thought this feature would guarantee some more spins on the radio, hence one can't be too mad at Nas- radio play has been something he has not had since 2002's God's Son album. Aside from the small misstep on Summer on Smash, Life is Good is nearly perfect. It will most likely go down as yet ANOTHER classic from Nasty Nas, who is increasingly harvesting the greatest discography in Hip Hop history. This masterpiece has almost everything that one could ask for from a hip hop album musically. The great production, seamlessly masterful lyrics, and ever intriguing topical matter makes for an album that will be replayed for decades to come. When one looks back at Nasir Jones' career, Life Is Good will undoubtedly be placed on the top shelf beside Illmatic, It Was Written, Stillmatic, God's Son, and Hip Hop is Dead. Escobar Season has returned, and Nasty Nas will be here forever.
  3. Jul 17, 2012
    Once again, a Nas album will be overlooked by the critics because of his "greater past". True, this album is not Nas' best. However, in today's world of mainstream hip-hop, dominated by party-rap and bragging, this album is a shining beacon of hope.

    Nas is one of the few rappers left who still holds on to the mainstream and actually lives through his art. Sure, "Summer on Smash" is a
    throwaway track, but other than that, Nas appreciates the fact that he still holds the mic in his hands and uses the opportunity to speak his mind . He speaks about anything that he feels deserves attention: his life, gang violence, love, heartbreak, politics, class disparity, nostalgia, success and so on. Furthermore, he does it with incredible skill - his verses are beautifully crafted, thought-provoking and memorable. Nas brings something that mainstream hip-hop lacks - intelligence. While all is well with zoning-out and listening to some Waka Flocka or A$AP Rocky, Nas possess the element that makes music great - it evokes thoughts and feelings. Feelings not like the genereal "Oh, I feel like partying now" that most of music is about today, feelings that are much deeper and lasting than that.

    The beats on this album are hit or miss - Salaam Remi does a good job and No I.D. once more proves that he is a legend. The JUSTICE League beat was sub-par and Swizz Beatz failed miserably. Other than that, the beats don't sound "bad" to the ear, but you won't find yourself marveling at the compositions. The features on this album are hit or miss as well - Anthony Hamilton and Nikki Flores showcase their talent with outstanding performances, Large Professor, Mary J. Blige and the Cocaine 80's do quite well and Amy Winehouse provides a somewhat generic, but pleasant hook. Rick Ross, although he brings his lyrical A-game (for what he's worth) to the table, simply cannot stay on topic and falls back to his usual, bubblegum mafioso-rap style. Swizz Beatz has no vocal-appeal at all and Miguel would have done much better on a slow, sexy R&B-type track (don't rap, please. You sound like Pharrell, but worse). Victoria Monet delivers a bubblegum-pop hook, which doesn't really fit with the darker tone of the song. Overall, the hooks are decent, although they don't really fit with the song at times. They are, however, usually very catchy. Sure, Nas is not at the top of his game like on "Illmatic", "God's Son", "Stillmatic", "Lost Tapes" or "It Was Written" - far from it. His star is faded, but compared to what we have today in the world of popular rap, he still hits like a truck, a true 1990/2000's legend, awkwardly milling around in the 2010's, where music is little more than just feel-good instrumentals with mediocre MC's. At times, it seems like he is falling off, but immediately picks back up with another verse - not a very consistent performance, with tremendous highs and embarrassing lows. If you can, I would highly recommend getting the Deluxe version of this album - the regular version would get an 8/10 for me, but the Deluxe gets a 9/10, due to all the extra songs being great. However, I will bump up the 9/10 to a 10/10, considering that this is a mainstream hip-hop album released in 2012. The only track that is a throwaway is "Summer on Smash", but even that track is catchy enough for it to not be a complete turnoff. Get this album, please. Get this album, support Nas - he is a legend, but can't even compare to the success that Jay-Z is getting these days. Why? Any self-respecting rap-fan will agree that Nas is at the very least is a lyrical-equal to Jay-Z, but hey, that's not what really matters these days, is it? Nope. Hopefully, this album can help change that and so can you, by supporting soulful, true music, a bracket of the art that has been severely repressed in recent years. A bracket of art, to which Nas belongs.
  4. Jul 25, 2012
    This is truth. He's rapping from the heart, and pulls it off with style. A song like 'Daughters' has to be difficult to write and release, but he does it and makes it into a powerful hit. The production is tight and Nas' flow is sick. And he shows that he is a classy man in the end, and releases an emotional and beautiful song with Amy Winehouse ('Cherry Wine'). Nas doesn't hide from anything on the album, whether it be his messy divorce with Kelis, his daughter's troubles, and his past. Nothing is out of bounds, and that is what makes this album so respectable. Expand
  5. Jul 18, 2012
    This Nas album more like the Nas of old. Gritty NY beats, nice flow and even some guest appearances on it! I can't say I like every song but certainly if your a fan of REAL Hip Hop you should get this Nas album. Instantly recognizable if you hear him just once!
  6. Jul 17, 2012
    Nas Just pulled it off on this one, you can see the hardwork, and the continues effort to match the previous, and he has done that. This is definitely top 3 albums for me, he is just relentless. This album compared to others features a magnificent beat to every song, and the song placements are brilliant too. Don't listen to critics and naysayers cause they could quite stir you wrong, don't get it twisted, NAS IS THE BEST RAPPER ALIVE!!! Expand
  7. Jul 21, 2012
    Nas is definitely a top 5 rapper of all time...but this is completely dreadful. Only songs I can bare to listen to are the don and nasty. The beat selection is weak and the lyrics are nothing special.
  8. Dec 25, 2012
    Not only life is good, but also is this album. Nas took his time to release this and mainly talks about his divorce with Kelis. But instead of insulting her as a **** as many other rappers would do, he tells us how great his time with her was. Flashbacks like 'Bye Baby' (a perfect closer for this album) are a sadly beautiful masterpiece. And do I even have to talk about his rap skills? I'll give it one sentence: it's immensely stunning to hear him rhyming word after word, all ending on the same syllable. And lyrically he's definitely one of the most sophisticated rappers ever. The beats still bring this hood feeling with them (best example: awesome single release 'The Don') but seem produced very professional, nonetheless. And all of his features, going from Rick Ross over Mary J. Blige up to Anthony Hamilton and Amy Winehouse, are as great as the hip hop king himself. He's short before 40, however he still brings the style of a young aspiring artist in his tracks. It's not the perfect CD if you experienced how much he is able to do in "Illmatic" but it's one hell of a comeback. Only Kendrick Lamar's hip hop milestone "good kid, m.A.A.d city" was better than "Life Is Good" in the year 2012 and it's a grown-up, full-loaded but still calm work. Expand
  9. Aug 8, 2012
    Wow! I'm not sure I've heard a better album than this since that one album that came out 18 years and 4 months ago. What was the name of that album again? Hm anyway Life Is Good far exceeded my expectations as an album. Production is just ridiculous and Nas lyricism is just on another level. This is definitely a classic Hip Hop album in my opinion and should be treated as such in the decades to come. Nas proves that he is the G.O.A.T. MC. This album is truly one for the ages. Expand
  10. Dec 5, 2012
    Without a doubt Life Is Good is The Best Hip Hop Album of 2012 (trailing alongside Kendrick Lamar's good kid, m.A.A.d city). The standard edition of 14 tracks are so soulful and diverse, while the extra 4 tracks are definitely worth the extra purchase - which includes one of the best rap songs of 2011, "Nasty".

    Illmatic will never repeat itself - that phase is long gone. Because this
    album is so recent it won't be stated as a classic but compared to nearly every other rap album coming out recently it is by far an astonishingly great record. Each beat is on point, lyrics are on point and the features give themselves justice. There are no songs to skip for me, I can listen to "Summer On Smash" even though it ain't the best song on the album.

    For me the top 3 best tracks are Loco-Motive, Accident Murderers and World's An Addiction. But every track is outstanding. There is truly nothing negative to say about this album.
  11. Jun 2, 2013
    Damn, where do I start? He brings back boom bap production, was great, with the exception of "World's An Addiction," which has flat production but amazing lyrics, but then again, isn't that good? I love all the other production, and Nas destroys everyone new out today on "Loco-Motive." Check him out y'all, Nasty f*cking Nas in your area, about to cause mass f*cking hysteria. Just listen to him, virtually flawless. He puts himself on top again. Expand
  12. Sep 26, 2012
    Life is good is a really good album. The beats are really good and his lyrics are a masterpiece. Every songs in the album are classic. My favorite songs on the album are A Queens story, Accident murders, Daughters, Cherry wine and back when.
  13. Jul 21, 2012
    this is the best rap album in the decade period lil Wayne carters series is trash compared to this even thought i am a huge lil wayne fan. this album has amazing tracks and you can visualize what nas is rapping about he is now officially the best rapper alive:)
  14. Jul 23, 2012
    Nas Has This Album LOCKED. I Dont Care what anybody else says, this album his one of the most greatest rap albums in the history of rap! people say that rap is dead. no its not. nas is here. and he just changed it with Life Is Good. i love the beats. i love the lyrics. he is a true very solid and one of the best rappers of all time. hes standing right next to biggie in being the best new york rapper of all time. he's going into stillmatic mode on this one. Expand
  15. Dec 10, 2012
    Nas is one of the best rappers in circulation and this is confirmed in his eleventh album. Listening to tracks like "Daughters" and "The Don", we realize that Nas is a truly innovative artist but at the same time a classical artist. He mixes his experience to its originality and modern times, doing this seems to return to a Golden Age Hip-Hop of 25 years ago. One of the best album since his debut with Illmatic. Expand
  16. Jul 22, 2012
    Nas has had his ups and downs, so you really don't know what kind of album he's going to put out. Will it be a classic like Illmatic or Stillmatic? Or a misguided mess like I Am... or Nastadamus? Well this time around Nas brings us another strong effort; not quite up to the level of Illmatic/Stillmatic, but right up there with God's Son. A great variety of beats, and the classic Nas lyrical illustrations. Rap's great storyteller is back! Expand
  17. Oct 19, 2012
    No universo do hip hop existe atualmente quatro "deuses": Jay-Z, Kanye West, Eminem e Nas. Esse último o mais "reservado" de todos. Considerado um dos melhores de todos lembrado principalmente pelo seu debut Illmatic, considerado um dos melhores álbuns de rap de todos os tempos e um divisor de águas para o estilo. Sempre politizado em suas composições, Nas sempre esteve no topo das paradas de vendagem de álbum sem precisar de massiva campanha de divulgação. E não seria diferente com o lançamento do poderoso Life Is Good.

    Nas entrega um álbum old school com batidas fortes, atemporais e marcantes. Em nenhum segundo o álbum perde o rumo ou fica menos poderoso mostrando o pulso firme do produtor Salaam Remi principal produtor do álbum e antigo colaborador de Nas. Tudo o álbum segur a sonoridade única de Salaam com influência de jazz, blues e R&B. Nas é um rapper incrvel. Sua capacidade de "fazer rap" mostra o quanto ele é foda. Sempre no ponto certo e sem precisar virar "cantor" para conseguir entrar nas batidas diferentes. A melhor qualidade do álbum é seu o teor pessoal que Nas colocou nas músicas. Quando ele coloca suas reflexões sobre sua vida pessoal como o fim do casamento dele com a cantora Kelis e também suas visões do mundo do hip hop, Nas abre o leque para que mais pessoas possam se identificar com seus dramas. E com letras enxutas, precisas e inteligentes. Não posso não deixar de comentar a canção Cherry Wine com a participação de Amy Winehouse uma balada hip hop com influência de jazz e muito parecida com as canções do primeiro álbum da cantora, Frank. Um trabalho indispensavel para quem gosta de música de verdade seja qual foi o estilo.
  18. Jul 19, 2012
    Mercy, this album is so good. Nas went all the way back. He got stuck between the past and the present on a time machine on this album. Of course, Nas' song writing ability is something golden, but the production on this album is amazingly unexpected. Salaam Remi and No I.D. really wanted fans to hear what they've been missing since the 90s. Classic 20th Century Nas, but with this present day style that still caters to that time. 'Life Is Good' can definitely be included in Nas' top 5 albums. He really kept it Illmatic on this record. Expand
  19. Jul 17, 2012
    This album deserves no less than 8 out of 10. Nas has definitely put his soul and hard-work on this one. Salaam and No-Id also provided him with a very solid production throughout the album to ensure cohesiveness. Critics just don't get it when it comes to Nas, always using Illmatic as an excuse. Life is good is certainly a nolstagia genius without being preachy or talk negatively about the current state of hip hop, just a passionate artist doing what he does best and looking for a way forward. Thank you Nas! Expand
  20. Jul 17, 2012
    For real, I'm surprised at some of the crap that I see at times. Look up the ratings for Flockaveli (Waka Flocka's album) it has 3 more points than this album. Are the critics for real with this? This should be no less than an 8.5 for real. Just to compensate for their ratings, I'll compensate from 9.0 to 10.
  21. Jul 17, 2012
    Absolutely fantastic album. Should be album of the year. Nas goes hard from the beginning of "No Introduction" to the end of "Where's the Love". Only dud track is "Summer on Smash", but otherwise, every other track is worth multiple listens. Do not listen to the critics who are not giving this album the credit it deserves. Nas continues to stay on top with this release.
  22. Jul 18, 2012
    this album is without a doubt the best rap album so far this year. it contains songs that have an old school vibe and songs that are for this generation. not a bad song on here which is impossible for any other albums currently out which is why i give this a 10
  23. Jul 18, 2012
    The album as a whole is masterful. Nas has proven yet again that he is one of the games most prolific lyricists, and that he can deliver a well rounded album from top to bottom. The album does however suffer from the 8th track, "Summer on Smash". Though it has the potential to gamer mainstream success, it doesn't quite fit well with the rest of the album. Clocking in at about 58 minutes, the album is at a perfect length, and it's arguable that each bonus track could've been included on the non-deluxe edition of the album, especially the track "Trust", where Nas rhymes, "If you scared to take chances you Expand
  24. Jul 19, 2012
    simply put the album is a perfectly told story from where Nas came from to where he is now. Lyrically perfect, sonically amazing and contains tracks that can be hailed "classic Nas" like The Don, Locomotiv, Queen's Story, Back When and Nasty. Nas in my view is the Greatest of All Time. He reminds us on Life I Good.
  25. sa1
    Jul 19, 2012
    For his 10th album I couldn't ask for anything more from Nas. In this album we are provided what made us fall in love with him in the 90's without making the album sound outdated and unsuitable for 2012. Not only did Nas deliver lyrically, but the production was also on point, Salaam Remi and No I.D really brought out the best in Nas and for me, the more soulful tracks stood out the most. Overall, Life is Good is an example of hip-hop excellence. Expand
  26. Jul 23, 2012
    Life is Good is a smart album. It is a collection of maturely rounded confrontations and nearly sublime lyrical turns. Stripped of music this is poetry, and stripped of poetry this is an album of killer tunes. Nas does more than add to previous achievements, he sets a new standard for himself, and for others.
  27. Aug 9, 2012
    Where can I start? Nasty f*cking Nas attacks yo ass with arguably his 2nd best LP behind Illmatic. It's up there with Stillmatic, God's Son, and It Was Written for second best album. No Introduction was great, then Loco-Motive was my favorite song. Daughters, The Don, Nasty were also great songs on the album. Nas also has a top 5 album for 2012 in hip-hop, if not better. Ever hear Drake the teenage girl show actress try to rap and you fake rap lovers loved. Well here's some real hip-hop for ya **** ass motherf*cker. Hip-hop isn't dead anymore because of albums like The BDP Album, (KRS-One) Most Of My Heroes Still Don't Appear On No Stamp (Public Enemy), Life Is Good, then sooner of later, Detox, (Dr. Dre) Return Of The Boom Bip, (KRS-One & DJ Premier) and so on. Look up more upcoming hip-hop albums.
    Check him out y'all, Nasty Nas in yo area, but emceefan out.
  28. Aug 6, 2012
    A classic album by all standard.Got all type of music every music fan would crave.Whatelse do you expect even though the album is underrated but classic and intellectually minded.God Bless Nasir Jones
  29. Aug 6, 2012
    Life is Good has instant classic written all over it. Nas's evolution is apparent, and without alienating his Illmatic-loving fan base, he delivers a wonderfully varied compilation of tracks detailing his journeys and experiences through his career as a musician and entertainer all the way back to his life on the NY streets. While this album may not provide the instant gratification that marks much of today's rap, it will surely grow on anyone who takes the time to listen through the entire work of art. Collapse
  30. D__
    Aug 27, 2012
    If you liked his other material you'll like this...
    All I can say really.
    If you - like me - aren't a fan of his older projects then chances are this won't appeal either.

Universal acclaim - based on 30 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 28 out of 30
  2. Negative: 0 out of 30
  1. Aug 24, 2012
    An album of incredible songs.
  2. Aug 22, 2012
    Nas once again reminds us that as long as he's got one mic, lifee--and hip-hop--are beyond good. [#254, p.87]
  3. 88
    On Life Is Good, he's lyrically and musically rich as he's been for years now.