June 25, 2012

Deen had been wanting to fanute this for a while.

I’ll start this with the conclusion: one of my English teachers once told me that that was a powerful way to open an essay and that it would help inspire better writing. Bear with me, writing about the process of writing is all I have with Community off-air. I need more meta in my life. The only way Life Is Good could possibly be a bad album is if Nas actively decides to sabotage the album by throwing all the tracks he’s recorded so far and replacing them with Red-One and Skrillex collaborations. Boom. Now get ready to have your mind blown by what follows.

I thought that in jest, then remembered that there’s a picture of Nas and Diplo in a studio floating around on these innernets. But I’m not here to talk about skinny white dudes or culture vultures.  We’re here to discuss Nas and Rawse’s latest and best collaboration. Admittedly, I hate that Nas and Rawse have worked together so often. Despite my sentiments on Rawse, if they can maintain this quality level, I’ll keep quiet. However, I’ll note the irony Nas basically rhyming his ass off about fake niggas while cutting a label check to the fak… you know what? Let me chill. No one cares about that shit anymore. It’s 2012.

No I.D. absolutely murders the production on this with the combination of the organ bombast and very familiar breakbeat/drums. The drums almost had me thinking Salaam Remi was in charge, given that resorting to old ass drums is exactly the kind of trick Salaam uses on the regular. Nas continues to be in fine form weaving a tale about charlatans who claim to be doing that dirt when they really just fluked into it in verse one and sparing a thought for the victims of such actions in verse two (complete with a callback to “Jerome’s niece from Jones Beach” off One Love) before chastizing charlatans a bit more.

Rawse shows up with a “decent” verse.  He couldn’t even pretend to stick to the topic. He basically pulled a Q-Tip on Mobb Deep’s “Drink Away The Pain,” but at least that verse had theme of its own. This fat nigga just talking some flossy mafioso shit with “Maybach Music” drops to make him sound cool. Call me a curmudgeon, but I don’t think that’s too much to ask for – even in the glorious age of Weezy (now 2Chainz) & the orphaned punchline.

The Rawse verse is good in the same way that Roy Hodgson’s England squad has been good at Euro 2012 – both parties are aware of their limitations (story-telling for Rawse, technique for England) and chose to play to their strengths instead (flow and delivery for Rawse, defense and organization for England). Shouts to all my soccer folks reading this – Allez le Blues (or Germany. Whatever. I’m African). Ain’t a thang wrong with playing to your strengths – that’s a good thing, but let’s not for one second pretend that the rappers on this song will EVER be equals. You twitter niggas disgust me sometimes with your bullshit. I bet AZ was on this shit before someone from Def Jam suggested that Rawse would garner more attention and that both parties could benefit from the promotion/synergy/other fuckass corporate buzzwords. Whatever.

This song ramps up the excitement for what’s sure to be a pretty good album. Nas seems to be focused on just rapping and is at his best when he sticks to that shit rather than trying to educate the masses. Let the masses stay dumb. Fuck the masses. The rest of the track list looks pretty promising as well with some impressive guests (Amy Winehouse & Large Pro!) and producers on deck (40 and Buckwild – in addition to Salaam Remi and No I.D.). But permit me one minor grouse – with July 17th being less than a month away, it would be nice to get one more proper single out there. Everything we’ve heard is nice, but excluding “‘Daughters” which will probably do well on TV/Radio, everything else is more promo status. I love “The Don,” but it didn’t connect the way the label/Nas wanted.

As for “Accident Murderers,” this is just one of what hopefullywill be many dope album tracks on Life Is Good.

I’m giddy.

Maybe I should have saved my conclusion for the actual conclusion. The essay is aight, but his meta shit/new conclusion is super weak. Word to 2Chainz. Maybe next time then…

Stream:

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