Nas: knuckle up and just stream your album in full already.
The Queens rapper has already given us an EP’s worth of advance leaks from forthcoming LP Life Is Good. Thus far, the results have ranged from good (‘Daughters’) to great (‘Accident Murders’) to outstanding (‘The Don’). ‘Bye Baby’, a forensic dissection of his failed marriage to Kelis, offers the most striking lyrical performance of the bunch, and keeps up the run of form.
‘Bye Baby’ is a Jeremy Kyle-grade airing of dirty laundry. As per the Amy Winehouse-featuring ‘Cherry Wine’, ‘Bye Baby’ forgoes bravado in favour of introspection, and Nas is astonishingly candid throughout. Take the opening salvo: ‘Bye baby, I guess you know why I walked away/ When we walked to altar that was an awesome day/Did counselling, couldn’t force me to stay/Something happen when you say “I do”, we go astray”. In the intervening period, he talks about Kelis’ daddy issues, quotes ‘Caught Out There’, and picks over the details of their divorce settlement. Salaam Remi and Noah ’40’ Shebib’s production is spectral and effective, but the most memorable sound on ‘Bye Baby’ is that of skeletons jangling in the closet. [via The Fader]