Nas talks Kelis, Marvin Gaye and ‘Life is Good’ with The Guardian

Nasty Nas has been a busy man over the last few months. The Queensbridge don has made several impressive guest appearances on some of the livest joints and cuts in rotation, scored a starring role in Nicki Minaj‘s “Right By My Side” video, and rolled back the years alongside Lauryn Hill at SummerJam.

With Life is Good due to hit shelves in less than two weeks, Esco has stepped up his grind even more, leaking a clutch of tracks off his highly-anticipated tenth studio album to much fanfare and critical acclaim. The QB vet has given endless interviews, graced a bevvy of magazine covers and toured the world, hitting stages across the continents.

Stopping off in London for a show and a powwow with the Big Dog himself, Tim Westwood, Nasty also made time to chop it up with The Guardian‘s Dan Hancox to discuss his tax issues, marriage problems and the musical direction Life is Good.

Pressed about his decision to use his ex-wife Kelis‘ wedding dress on his album cover, the legendary emcee explained:

“I found it in my house and thought, it’s going somewhere! Either on the cover of my album, or burning in a garbage can. I was angry when I first found it. Hurt and angry -– but I don’t think she left it deliberately to hurt me. It’s just part of the dress, so I don’t know where the rest of it is. But it made all the sense in the world for me to … hold on to that. I guess that’s just my personality.”

“My wedding and my marriage was, for the most part, some of the most amazing times of my life,” he went on to say. “She’s an incredible woman. It just ended really publicly, it seemed real bad. I guess this is my Here, My Dear album, that Marvin Gaye made. It might not be quite so much about the marriage or the divorce, but it’s still that kind of record for me.”

Reminiscing about his late friend and “Cherry Wine” collaborator Amy Winehouse, a wistful Nas says:

“She was wise way beyond her years, dude. She was too wise. Man, she would call me and I’d be laughing the entire conversation. We’d be talking about movies, music … she wouldn’t soften the blow when she said what she had to say, it didn’t matter who she was talking about.”

In keeping with the themes of Life is Good, the 38-year-old poet is open and honest in his interview, wearing his heart on his sleeve. Hancox poses the difficult and pressing questions, all the while allowing the master of ceremonies to do what he does best: express himself.

Judging by its appetisers, Nas’ Life is Good may very well be one of the most gratifying and satiating servings of the year, perhaps even in recent years. Those privy to the sound and scope of the album in its entirety suggest Life is Good is indeed excellent; at the very least very good. Whatever the case, Nas’ interview with The Guardian certainly is.

Check it out:

Nas interview with The Guardian