»I know you think my life been good cause my diamond piece/ but my life been good since I started finding peace!«. 21-year-old Nasty Nas from the street has become an adult. »Life Is Good« is Nasir Jones’ unofficial musical autobiography. It focuses on poetry. »When you’re too hood to be in them hollywood circles/ and you’re too rich to be in that hood that birthed you/ And you become better than legends you thought were the greatest/ and outgrow women you love and thought you could stay with«. In an authentic way, Nas is looking back at 39 years of experience of life, his legendary status in the biz, his role as a father and man and the complementary impressions between the daily ghetto hustle in Queensbridge and the excessive hedonism of the rich and beautiful. In tracks such as »A Queen’s Story« or »Accident Murderer« he digests the confrontation with the dark sides of glorified gangster life, in »Daughters«, a very personal, song, he reflects the relationship with his daughter. On the cover, we see Nas in a contemplative pose, the wedding gown of his ex-wife Kelis is lying on his lap. The process of digesting the break-up with the mother of his second child is a recurrent theme on the album. It is also dedicated to her. He concludes this leitmotif with »Bye Baby«, the kitsch-free post-declaration of love, which is perfectly underlaid with the Guy-sample »Goodbye Love«, possibly reminding some of Common’s »Lovin Lost«. The production was almost exclusively in the hands of No I.D. and Salaam Remi. Alongside traditional Boom Bap, nicely set samples, orchestral and R&B-elements shine through, sometimes a Jamaika-bassline or a breakbeat make for a change. Unfortunately, the track constructed by Swizz Beatz is completely out of the otherwise very round Vintage-Drumloop-based beat framework. Unexpectedly, neither Premo nor The Alchemist contributed a beat.