Another day, another Life Is Good track.
‘Cherry Wine’ was premiered on BBC Radio 1 this week, and boasts a guest appearance from national-outrage-turned-national-treasure Amy Winehouse. It’s not the first time Nas has collaborated with a spectral Winehouse: the rapper memorably contributed a verse to posthumous cut ‘Like Smoke’, plucked from last year’s Lioness: Hidden Treasures collection.We were a bit worried about this one, to be honest: after the street-knock of ‘The Don’ and ‘Accident Murderers’, ‘Cherry Wine’ looked like it might be a sop to the casual listener, the sort of focus-grouped pap cooked up for the Radio 2 laydeez.
The results, although not a patch on any of the other Life Is Good leaks, are actually rather palatable. Winehouse’s voice, looped and chopped, sounds great, and the instrumental is breezy without becoming slight. Nas plays the gentlemen: his lyric sheet is full of polite bromides and light on the quotables, but he keeps manages to keep things buttery rather than cheesy. “Life is good”, he reminds us, before handing over to a woman who left us too early to learn the lesson for herself. Head over to Hypetrak to listen.
Life is Good drops on July 17. You can stream snippets of the album over at Xclusives Zone.