Look, the steady trickle of music emerging in the build-up to a major release is often annoying. In the case of Nas’s Life is Good, however, it’s been more like a steady reminder that Nas is one of the best doing this.
Sounds obvious, but with Nas it’s easy to forget. The stigma of never having topped his debut album (Illmatic – as if you didn’t know) has been an albatross around his neck throughout his career, and since 2001’s Stillmatic, his albums have been the definition of enjoyable but inessential. Ever since ‘The Don’ emerged earlier this year, however, Life is Good has been shaping up to be his best in years. Each leak since has been excellent, and even though ‘Summer on Smash’ is nowhere near as immediately eye-opening as ‘The Don’ or ‘Accident Murderers’, it’s got all the halmarks of an album track that could gradually become one of your favourites from the record. Life is Good will be released on July 17.