It’s been four years since New York rapper Nas released a solo album, so his new record Life Is Good serves as a re-introduction to his fans. In a phone interview with ANDPOP’s Azra Kassam, Nas talked about collaborating with Amy Winehouse and his best prank ever (it involves a blow up doll).
Life is Good was his daily mantra before becoming his album title: These last few years have been difficult for Nas, particularly because of a high profile divorce from singer Kelis. But he rose above it all and bared his soul for his eleventh studio album Life Is Good. “Instead of looking at all the losses, I started looking at them as blessings,” he said. “I started saying ‘Life is Good’ and it became a daily mantra… It was the obvious thing to do when it was time to title my album.”
So there you have it kids, the next time you’re feeling blue, try creating a positive, daily mantra for yourself. You can thank Nas later.
He and Amy Winehouse share the same birthday: Nas recently released “Cherry Wine,” a collaboration with Amy Winehouse, which appears on Life is Good. He said it was amazing to collaborate with Winehouse before her tragic death. “She was an incredible artist, she was a pure artist, and she was someone who loved music more than most people I meet,” he said. “She had a spirit that was about being honest and being raw and not caring about what anybody thinks.” In fact, Nas said when he was putting “Cherry Wine” together, he felt Winehouse’s presence as an angel.
Coincidentally, both Nas and Winehouse shared the same birthday, Sept. 14, though he was born ten years earlier.
Listen to it here:
His best prank involved a blow up doll: Read more…
“Sweet Life” — Frank Ocean
A few days ago, Frank Ocean posted an extremely vulnerable story on his blog about his first time falling in love with a man — an unprecedented step for a newcomer, or really any musician, in the hip hop industry. Since then, there has been a flurry of tweets, statuses, blog posts, and the like, regarding the R&B crooner’s unexpected move. However, Ocean has already moved on, releasing a new track from his upcoming, highly anticipated album Channel Orange, called “Sweet Life.” Produced by Pharell, the retro inspired track lays a jazzy keyboard over a whimsical bassline to complement Ocean’s smooth harmonies. Channel Orange drops on July 17th.
“Cherry Wine” — Nas and Amy Winehouse
Amy Winehouse fans will be happy to know they can hear a brand new track featuring the songstress who suddenly passed away last year. “Cherry Wine,” off rapper Nas’ upcoming album Life is Good, was recorded in 2008 when Nas and Winehouse were working on a different track, “Like Smoke.” The song stayed hidden for four years and Nas himself wasn’t keen on releasing the record. Thank goodness he decided to go ahead with it, because it really is a gem. The oldschool beat, Winehouse’s laidback vocals, and Nas’ on-par rhymes are beautiful together. The only complaint I have about the record is that Winehouse will never be able to perform it live. A bittersweet release, but a great first posthumous jam for Winehouse. Catch Cherry Wine on Nas’ Life is Good, released on July 17.
“Distance” — Christina Perri ft. Jason Mraz Read more…
A little early for Father’s Day but thoughtful nonetheless, rapper Nas released a single called “Daughters” dedicated to his brothers with daughters. The music video includes an appearance from his 17-year-old daughter Destiny Jones, plus a look back at their relationship. Instead of relating embarrassing baby stories to new boyfriends, Nas went full-parented and released a biographical music video for the whole world.
In the track, Nas admits to both his faults and disappointments as a dad and talks about his daughter’s evolution from an adorable princess to talking about boy business. He also raps about his daughter posting a scandolous photo on Instagram: “… she planted/ A box of condoms in her dresser then she Instagrammed it/ At this point I realized I ain’t the strictest parent/ I’m too loose, I’m too cool with her.”
The track will appear on his upcoming LP, Life is Good.
Watch it here:
Nicki Minaj wants nothing more than the guy who’s wooing her in the video for “Right By My Side” to get with it and lay a kiss on her. What does a girl have to do? He offers her a silver coin to throw in the fountain and it’s not very hard to guess what she wishes for.
No… she probably didn’t wish for him to buy her a swag car with a pink ribbon wrapped around it, though that’s a sweet, albeituncomfortable, gesture on his part. It was definitely the kiss that she wished for. She looks up at the moon at the end with this goofy, childlike expression like “yah, you know this is what I wanted.”
It’s unsure where Chris Brown stands in the video. We get glimpses of him singing on the side but he never really interrupts the plot. It’s funny Minaj employed rapper Nas as her leading man when Brown was there the whole time. Still, the two seem to strike a friendship in the Benny Boom-directed video.
Minaj has a flair for the dramatic, though compared to her other videos this one is pared down significantly — she doesn’t even change hair colours! Shock.
Watch it here:
Who isn’t Nicki Minaj working with these days? The singer’s new track “Champion” leaked online and it features a star-studded cast, including Drake, Young Jeezy and Nas. We also recently heard the singer with Chris Brown and DJ Khaled.
The song was produced by Da Internz and is part of her forthcoming album Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded. In the song, Minaj and her crew reflects on their rise to the top and their goal to stay there. Minaj proves she can hold her own with hip hop’s elite.
As mentioned in a recent article, a record of unreleased songs by the late Amy Winehouse will be released before the year’s over.
The lead single, Like Smoke is a duet the singer did with rapper Nas. It’s a soulful retro song produced by Amy’s longtime friend and collaborator, Salaam Remi.
This song is incredibly beautiful and listening to it will only make you miss AMy even more. Yes, she was troubled and had a lot of addictions to conquer but you can’t deny she was one of our generation best singers and she could have been a living legend if her life wasn’t cut short.
Her final album, Lioness: Hidden Treasures will be out a month from now. Listen to Like Smoke here.
TMZ is reporting Nas has had his child support cut to just over $5,000 a month, and his spousal support payments are now $20,000. Still sounds like a lot of money but apparently he was previously paying twice that.
We guess……good work Nas??????
BET’s “SOS Save Ourselves: Help for Haiti” telethon was studded with stars, talent and a positive message Friday night. MTV news reports that Queen Latifah, Diddy and Pharrell spearheaded the event that was held at the American Airlines arena in Miami, and encouraged viewers to donate to the cause of Haiti.
The night opened with Wyclef Jean and Mavado’s performance of “Hold On”. Clef, who brought Haitian MCs to perform alongside him, told the audience he wanted to teach them “Creole 101”. The Haitian born rapper transitioned into a mini-set that began with “Sweetest Girl”, with Akon making an appearance. After doing “I’mma Zoe” with Haitian singer Black Dada the performance ended with everyone waving Haitian flags.
Rapper Nas says he was a victim of racial profiling when he was pulled over for driving under the influence in Georgia in September, reports TMZ.
He admitted to the police he smoked marijuana before getting behind the wheel and failed several sobriety tests.
“You know what it is? Profiling, man,” he said this weekend at Katsuya. “But they can’t stop a good man from shining, man.”
The case was thrown out when drug tests came back negative.
Nas, Common, Damian Marley, the Roots and K’naan are among the acts featured in this summer’s Rock the Bells hip-hop festival, which will visit 10 North American cities including Toronto and Vancouver.
Each of the tour stops, which are scheduled to take place on consecutive weekends from June 27 to Aug. 9, will feature 25 artists on two stages, according to Billboard.
Rapper Nas and reggae star Damian Marley are collaborating on an album that will likely be released in the spring.
Nas’ manager Anthony Saleh told Billboard that the pair has been working on the project in Los Angeles for the last several weeks.
“We’ve been recording in a studio, where people like Mick Jagger are recording. No one knew who we were,” Saleh says. “We’re going to Miami this week to finish it up and we’re aiming to tour for the album this summer.”
Details are still being worked out, but the goal is for a portion of the proceeds to go toward building a school in Africa.
Nas was nominated for best rap solo performance and best rap album for “Untitled” at this Sunday’s Grammy Awards but was edged out by Lil Wayne in both categories.
This week, LaCie announced the release of Network Space, a networked attached storage (NAS) and media server designed specifically for easy home and small office use. Network Space was designed by Neil Poulton, who also designed the Red Dot award-winning Hard Disk device.
The LaCie Network Space comes ready-to-use out of the box – it is simply connected to a router through the rear Ethernet port and the device is immediately available to share information through the local area network. Network Space also comes pre-built with two separate shares: one share is public for easy access from any networked computer, while the other is password protected for secured private use.
LaCie Network Space can also stream multimedia files through DLNA-compatible UPnP media players, such as the Xbox 360 or Sony Playstation 3, or act as an iTunes server. This allows users to enjoy media on their television located elsewhere in the house, rather than just from the computer monitor.
The Network Space is available in capacities of 500 gigabytes to 1 terabyte. The device will be available worldwide in early October, and can be purchased for about $150 from the LaCie Online Store, LaCie Reseller and LaCie Storage Partner.
The lineup for the second annual Samsung AT&T Summer Krush has been announced.
Mariah Carey, Gavin Rossdale, Nelly, Nas and LeAnn Rimes will perform as part of the free concert series, which is designed to promote Samsung’s BlackJack II cell phone.
The tour kicks off July 31 in Los Angeles with Carey, who will give a 35-minute performance at the Hollywood & Highland Center. “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” will broadcast part of the show later that night.
The concert series will then move on to other cities throughout the U.S., featuring a different artist in each location.
Three additional artists who will be announced shortly will play as part of Summer Krush in mid-September.
Samsung BlackJack II mobile phones will be on display at each show, during which concertgoers can learn about the phone and its music capabilities.
A limited number of free concert tickets will be available via the Summer Krush website, as well as radio promotions, fan clubs and street teams.
Last summer’s inaugural Summer Krush featured performances from Ludacris, the Bravery and the All-American Rejects, among others.
Here is the lineup so far for this year’s Summer Krush tour:
- July 31 – Los Angeles, Hollywood & Highland Center (Mariah Carey)
- Aug. 7 – Seattle, Showbox (Gavin Rossdale)
- Aug. 13 – Dallas, Gilley’s (Le Ann Rimes)
- Aug. 19 – Atlanta, Tabernacle (Nelly)
- Aug. 27 – New York, Webster Hall (Nas)
A spokesperson for Def Jam confirmed today that rapper Nas is changing the title of his upcoming album.
The rapper, whose real name is Nasir Jones, caused quite a stir when he announced last year that his ninth album, set to be released July 1st, would be called N*#$@r.
In October of 2007, Island Def Jam, Nas’ record label, announced publicly that the label would stand behind their artist and the album title. But during a recent television interview the rapper did not appear so sure.
“Everybody is trying to stop the title…. Record stores are gonna have a problem in this day and time selling a record with that title,” said Nas. “Who knows what’s gonna turn out and be on that title?”
In a statement released today Nas said that he still considers the album to be untitled.
Controversial rapper Nas is not backing down from his decision to name his upcoming album a word that is causing an uproar in the hip hop community.
Nas has confirmed that his new album will indeed be entitled ‘Nigg**’ despite efforts by hip hop heavyweights and members of the black community to eradicate the use of the word.
The critically acclaimed emcee is set to release his new album in less than two months and told MTV News he couldn’t wait for an official press release.
“When you feel like doing a record you can’t wait till everybody’s ready, I use to wait. Now I have that shit in me where’s it’s just like, ‘It is what it is right now,’ and this is what it is. Buy it or don’t buy it, it’s cool. Whoever like it, gonna like it, whoever don’t like it whatever. It’s gotta come now, ” the rapper said.
According to the Hip Hop is Dead emcee the album’s concept is more important than what the media making it out to be.
“This Nigg** album is bigger than an album to me. This is for my daughter to say, ‘Damn, my pop really was a man.’ And when I have more kids, ‘They going to say he was a man.’ So that inspires them to be real in their life, and that’s all I’m trying to pass on.”
“Nigg**” is reportedly set to hit stores December 11th.
Rap superstars JAY-Z and NAS have spoken out in defence of hip hop in a new book about the music genre.
Jay-Z wrote the introduction for Know What I Mean? Reflections On Hip Hop, by Georgetown University professor Michael Eric Dyson – and Nas wrote a passage at the end of the book.
The book tackles the use of politics and gender in rap – and the pair were
keen to speak out at a time when hip hop is under attack for encouraging
violence and promoting misogynist behaviour.
Jay-Z writes, “He has shown those doubters and critics that hip hop is a
vital arts movement created by young working-class men and women of colour.
Yes, our rhymes can contain violence and hatred. Yes, our songs can detail the drug business and our choruses can bounce with lustful intent. However, those things did not spring from inferior imaginations or deficient morals; these things came from our lives. They came from America.” (IG/WNWCSO/JC)
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