Nas talks Marvin Gaye, growing up and ‘Life Is Good’ with NPR | Music

The venerable Nasir Jones – aka Nasty Nas – talks to NPR‘s All Things Considered about his critically acclaimed new album, Life Is Good. QB’s finest also opens up about divorce, child rearing, and maturing as a rapper and father. Speaking candidly with All Things Considered host, Guy Raz, Esco lifts the lid on the difficulties of being a father, while exposing the rougher side to his personality, particularly when dealing with women.

The New York King discusses his high profile divorce from his former Queen, soulful pop star, Kelis. Nas says:

“I had a pretty public divorce. They’re not easy — divorces — and it took me a long time to really get through. The album cover gives you that; it gives you what’s been happening with me, what’s been happening during my break from solo albums. I bring you up to speed with where I’m at. And there it is — actually not her entire dress because it probably would not have fit in the picture because it was so big but it was part of her dress, the part that she had left behind.”

The legendary emcee also charts his development, outlining his growth from the “Moet drinkin, marijuana smokin street dweller” on Illmatic, to the 38 year old “Don” on Life Is Good. He explains:

“In the past I had to deal with issues that hit me as a younger man. As a man who wasn’t married who didn’t really have the experience that I have now. Today I’m a different guy. Obviously, I’m older. I’ve been through a lot more. The strongest subject matter that I was writing about was more about me and growing up.”

“If every rap album is about how you came up in the hood and how you had to make it out of the hood — I’m 38 now; this is my 10th album. I wouldn’t want to hear someone be around for a long time talking about the same thing. I want to get to know this person; I want to hear the artist. I want to hear them give me something that I can relate to, other than the fact that everything’s about bragging.

“So today, if I made an album just to sell you a story about how I’m the man, it really doesn’t show any human side to me. It’s good to talk about what’s real and what’s relevant.”

Check out NPR for the full interview.