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Nas‘ new album title, Life Is Good, calls to mind cool breezes and cold glasses of lemonade. While the 38-year-old MC created the set in the midst of life changes, he’s once again given hip-hop a look at life from another perspective. He recently revealed where the title came from and where the music is going.

“I knew for a while, before I started working on the album that I was going to start with a ’90s feel,” Nas told CBS Local. “The ‘life is good’ thing was part of my every day mantra. Everytime I woke up, I couldn’t believe I was here. Everybody I talked to, I said, ‘Life is good.'”

Despite going through a recent divorce, dealing with tax woes, and feeling his way through fatherhood challenges, Nas used the title to show that he was still grateful for what he had. But it was his Distant Relatives collaborator Damian Marly who added weight to the name.

“I remember [seeing] Damien Marley backstage. He said, ‘Ya know, ya next album should be calld Life is Good,‘” Nas said in his best Marley impersonation (see video below). “I said, ‘That’s what I’m naming it. ‘You gotta name your album Life is Good. You gotta name ya album that.'”

The cover of the Life is Good has drummed up more chatter than the breezy title. The image of Nas sitting pensively with Kelis’ emerald green wedding dress draped across his lap is a nod to his recent divorce with the eclectic singer. According to Nas, the dress was all she left behind when they split. But he’s quick to point out that the dress tells only a part of the story.

“It’s all kinds of things to see inside the cover,” he said. “It’s up to the viewer to look at it: Love, joy, sadness, happiness, celebration. Closure. New beginnings, so on and so forth. That was important to me.”

The album’s single, “Daughters” finds him at his most personal. The Chris Robinson-directed video, which premiered Sunday (May 27), features scenarios from Nas’ real life as a father.

MUST READ: Nas Sees Video From Daughter’s Perspective

Life is Good, which is due out July 17, will be the rapper’s tenth studio album since the release of his classic Illmatic in 1994.

“I’m trying to take n****s to school with this album,” he said. “I’m the best class you got in your school. And I mean that in a humble way. Word.” –Erik Parker, CBS Local


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