Nas Explains Inspiration For Single "Daughters"

Nas talks about the inspiration behind his latest single "Daughters" and where it fits into the album.

Earlier today, Nas unleashed his latest single, the No I.D.-produced "Daughters," off his upcoming album Life is Good. Now, in an exclusive interview with XXL, the legendary Queensbridge emcee explains the story behind that track.

Nasty Nas explained that what inspired the track was watching his eldest daughter grow up and how quickly she became a teen in his eyes. He added that the honesty and story telling elements of the song really capture the essence of his impending album.

"It’s amazing, man. [My daughter]’s so important to me and she always has been. They grow so fast and time flies man. Before you know it, you’re looking at a little lady," he explained. “She’s my first kid, my first time watching a child become a teen and a little adult before my eyes. That’s one of the most important things in my life. She is. I can’t get away from talking about it. It’s actually one of the first songs I recorded for this album.”

He added, “I guess we’re starting to give you the next chapter. It’s like a story in a way. We’re about to give you the next records and give the people the album. That’s just opening up the album to people, it’s go time. We started, ‘Nasty’ been out there for a long time. Then ‘The Don’ that video should drop this week. Then, we open. The book is open. The movie begins. So ‘Daughters’ is like welcome to my world.”

Life is Good is due in stores on July 17.

RELATED: Nas "Life Is Good" Release Date, "Daughters" Single Cover Art

88 Comments

  • Anonymous

    "handed a black tape that had the Nas logo with "It Ain't Hard to Tell" written on it. From the beat to the lyrics, I never heard anything like it at the time" That was a good song, definately a stand-out on Illmatic, but time moves on. O.C. "Time's Up", another very good song that today nobody probably remembers. I respect people who still cite older songs, but I think in order to understand how the music industry has changed today, we have to give credit to Lil Wayne simply for putting out albums that aren't classic, but still generate hit songs that people will bump in cars or hear in clubs for years to come. Rappers like Nas have a different agenda, and in some ways it hurts them, more so in the latter half of their careers.

  • Anonymous

    "Are you going to be listening to any YMCMB (or other *hot* label) records 20 years from now?" That doesn't matter. We could go down the line and rattle off scores of "popular" albums that today are collecting dust in somebody's closet. Point being, Wayne and his artists are all about now, and with the way they're going, they could easily lock down another five years of dominance.

  • Anonymous

    "Please tell me on HHID, Untitled, & DR where there is a wack beat" Practically every song on HHID is wack.

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  • N.B.

    I wish for just once you could open up a Nas or Jay-Z article on this site and not deal with a squashed decade old beef between the two. Seriously, grow up and move on. They have, you probably should too.

    • N.B.

      HHFAN. I know where you are coming from because I've noticed the same shit and it is so tiring and redundant. We can't just talk about the music and let it be what it is. However, you missed the ass clown that always brings up Jay's wealth and Nas IRS debt. This is not a fucking discussion board on Forbes about rappers and their money. I could care less about rappers finances. That's their business, just make some music for me to listen to.

    • HHFAN

      Things you can count on when you open a Nas article/YouTube Video: 1.) Nas has a shitty ear for beats. 2.) Nas murked Jay or Jay murked Nas. 3.) The relationship about Pac & Nas. 4.) Something about YMCMB being better because they sell more records. My response to that: 1.) I think this is something that someone said once in a response when Nas was putting out more radio friendly shit and is now an opinion repeated as fact. Please tell me on HHID, Untitled, & DR where there is a wack beat (except that song with Joss Stone). 2.) Who cares, it was 10 years ago. Did you not notice they've done records together? Jay got Nas a deal with Def Jam? You all are some Al Bundy Polk Highschool "I scored 4 touchdowns in one game!" fans. Get the fuck over it. They obviously have. 3.) Pac is from the East Coast, of course he liked Nas. I'm sure if he was alive today, they'd have done a collabo album by this point. 4.) Hooray sales! Are you going to be listening to any YMCMB (or other *hot* label) records 20 years from now? Think of all the shit they've put out in the last 10 years and how much of it you still listen to. They are making some great hot(short term) records but very few things that will stand the test of time. I was 9 years old in a barber shop when I first was handed a black tape that had the Nas logo with "It Ain't Hard to Tell" written on it. From the beat to the lyrics, I never heard anything like it at the time. When you have profound memories like that in 20 years of "6'7", "Stupid Hoe", "The Motto" and "Rack City", let me know.

  • Chunk Dogg

    Yo Listen to MAFFEW RAGAZINO NYC undergroud, super dope Just read the Complex article on NYC hiphop and peeped this artist his sh1t is killer. A little like Nas, but a dope flow

    • HHFAN

      I searched for him because, anyone who doesn't know how to spell Matthew can't know how to rap. Anyway, that kid is fire!

  • Anonymous

    I salute u my nigga! For those who complain about Nasir Olu Dara Jones that just jealousy cause they know very well that Nas will destroy they favorite rapper favorite rapper including ur Austin Powers " oh behave" fuck that Euro pop shit... Nas the only real Mc left ..

  • TRO

    On some real shit his untitled album was a CLASSIC

  • Fuck Mobb Deep

    Damn I think Nas just don't know how to pick up good beats. Nigga is the king of shitty beats, remeber "Big Girl" from 1999? That shit was just garbage.

  • Lum

    ALL ARTIST HAVE WACK BEATS ON THEIR ALBUMS. I was listening to Blueprint 3 the other day and most of the beats are wack....Name any artist album and I'll give you songs with wack beats. I feel like people just do this to Nas because they can't complain about his lyrics...And you know how people are, they always have to have something to bitch about.

    • The_Observer

      i agree Lum....Nicki Minaj new album is all wack put together but its no excuse for Nas, he's naturally a bad beat selector even if it from talented producers like Kanye or No ID He aint got an ear

    • @Lum

      Allright nigga you got me tell me if you find any wack beats on Take Care

    • Lum

      When I said that I meant regular albums people drop, not classics. There are plenty of perfect 90's albums, those are in a league of their own. I'm talking about regular albums modern hiphop artists put out. If you go to the store and buy a Nicki Minaj album or Big Sean or Luda or Drake or Jay-Z or T.I. or J Cole or Lil Wayne you are going to find some wack beats on it...That's why no one gets 5 mics anymore...No one drops "perfect" albums. Which is why I don't like it when Nas is singled out...

    • R.Pgh

      I think people complain too much about Nas beat selection, but just to play devils advocate for your 'challenge', how about Smif N Wessun's 'Dah Shinin'? Pretty sure there are zero wack beats on there...

  • YESSIR

    I'M A DICKRIDING BITCH, SO WHEN I MENTION NICKI MINAJ WHO HAS NOTHING BUT SALES TO TALK TO ABOUT TO NAS WHO IS A LEGEND AND MAKES GREAT MUSIC, TRUST THAT I'M BEING A TYPICAL YOUNG MONEY GROUPIE BITCH. 20 LETTERS YMCMB OVOXO MMG WTB DICK

  • Anonymous

    If you want NAS over Premier beats.... Go listen to Illmatic If you want Nas over Alchemist... listen to Lost Tapes or God Son If you want Nas over Kanye.... try Hiphop is dead. Nas picks beats that let him express a subject matter. If you aint feeling the countless classics he has - don't listen to them and don't comment on this bullshit about production Every Nas albums ends up being a fucking masterpiece given 3-4 years. Before you start with Nastradamus bullcrap... actually listen to that album.

    • shawn

      yo are so right you hit that on the button ...media washed people sometimes need a towel to dry off then some soap n new water ya dig

    • R.Pgh

      The singles for Nastradamus are why people think it's a bad album. There are actually a lot a great songs on there, but "You Owe Me" and "Nastradamus" overshadow them because of A) they were the only ones getting spins and B) they're not good.

    • The MG

      BOTH of you guys are spot on. Those beat critics sound like broken records, just copying what everyone else is saying. Hate em!

    • JJ Kingsly

      I guarantee you, most who complain about Nastradamus haven't even heard it. People who say that, I Am and It Was Written were garbage, are just blind followers. They heard Jay-Z say it, and they copied. Jay has sort of rewritten history in a way....After he said that everyone started saying those albums were wack and they flopped, when they all went Platinum or higher. I own all of Nas' albums and like them all...His beats are no worse then anyone elses.

  • Hodgy Quest

    This sort of sounds like he's going to leak the whole album...I'll still buy it though.

    • shawn

      no he aint gonna leak the whole album he aint gonna release it until its acutually done...just how slaughterhouse is doing very smart

  • akil

    NAS is my nigga ........he never disappoints

  • YESSIR

    THIS IS GOING TO SELL LESS THAN NICKI ALBUM SO IN THE WORDS OF THE POSTER OF HIPHOPDX IT WILL FLOP SINCE PEOPLE ARE SAYING NICKI FLOPPED. NOBODY IS TRYING TO HEAR NAS TALK ABOUT HIS GIRLS GETTING WITH NIGGAS IN PRISON SON DONE LOST HIS MIND AND YOU PEOPLE ARE COSIGNING IT. YOU ARE LEADING TO A FLOP NAS BETTER CALL DRAKE FOR A HOOK AND DONT SAY NAS DONT CARE ABOUT SALE BECAUSE WELL ALL KNOW NAS GOT THE IRS ON HIS ASS AND MRS MILKSHAKE WANT HER MONEY TOO 16 LETTER YMCMB OVOXO MMG WTB

    • YESSIR

      NICKI DEF HAD A BETTER VS THAN NAS ON THERE SONG HIM AND TYGA WAS CLOSE BUT I GET THE SLIGHT EDGE TO TYGA

    • The MG

      Listen to the song again. He's talking about being there for your daughters, making sure they do the right thing so they don't wind up being misled. He talks of his own faults as a parent so others can learn what happens if they're not there for their children so they can step up and raise them right. I see that song went way over your head.

    • Anonymous

      nikki has alot of brainless children buying her crap. fuck record sells its about skill, little man.

    • wu4lyf

      Yessir you massive homosexual. Must be so tiring to hate all day. Funny coz Nas has destroyed all your gay little idols on wax ON THEIR OWN SONGS. LOOOOL you faggot

    • YESSIR

      OH AND I LIKE PENIS IN MY ASS 16 LETTER YMCMB OVOXO MMG WTB

  • hazz

    nas let their parents take care of their daughters, lazy parents mess up music by making you guys take care of the kids.do your oringal music nasir jones, nas,nasty nas..come on lets do itt.

    • R.Pgh

      what is 'original music'? Do you want him to rhyme about the same thing he did 20 years ago? He's not in the projects anymore, he's not in the streets doing shit, so why would he rap about it? He's a parent so he's talking about issues that concern him in 2012, not living in the past rapping about being in the projects. It's called maturity.

  • dentaldamboy

    Nas didn't put out a hot album till Stillmatic in 2002. Not saying that they hated each other, But Pacs words stuck with the people. Took Nas a long time to shake it off.

    • R.Pgh

      back when the Source's ratings used to mean something (mid 90's), they gave It Was Written 4 mics. So evidently some critics thought it was very good. can't tell if your just being a troll, or if you have valid reasons why you don't like the album. All the beats are good / great, lyrics are all great, limited features but the ones he does have stand out (original Firm lineup, old school Mobb Deep, Lauryn Hill). What is it you don't like about IWW?

    • Hood

      It Was Written was always considered to be a classic. Stop hating you corny little faggot

    • Anonymous

      stop the lies, faggot. iww is FAR from being highly acclaimed. people SHITTED on that weed plate when it came out. don't try to change nas' legacy for the better. and stop calling albums you personally like classics.

    • Anonymous

      the reality your prolly a teenager. You have no clue what what epopel thought was hot. No-one fort PAC had "ethered" Nas... (mainly because Nas hadn't written ether yet for Pac to be ethering anyone) Secondly - it was written and Iam are classic records. How about listening to them instead of skimming through - or listening to Jay-z version of Nas' career in a beef record... Nas has more classic's than Jay by about 3 albums.. do math sonny.

    • Chillin

      I know everyone is entitled to their own opinion unless of course it's ignorant dribble. But It Was Written is a strong album dude and very highly acclaimed.

    • dentaldamboy

      Dude, Illmatic was before his beef with Pac. I said that Pac ethered Nas and Nas took 6 years to put out a good album after that. I don't think It Was Written was a great album honestly.

    • Anonymous

      Nas didn't put a hot album till Stillmatic? Nigga where was u in 94 Illmaic and 96 It Was Written came out?

  • ill spoken

    nasty nas in your area... about to cause mass hysteria!

  • dentaldamboy

    What this article fails to mention is that Pete Rock was instrumental in helping Tupac develop lyrically. If it wasn't for Pete Rock, I don't think Tupac would have been able to end Nas' career. If you think about it, Pac really ethered the fuck out of Nas. It too Nas 6 years to recover from the way Tupac took a shit on him. Before you guys call me a hater, I like Nas a lot. But Tupac damaged Nas' brand so much that Nas sat at home for a few years and chilled with his daughter. That's why they are so close. So this article really should mentioned Pete Rock. I think you all see my logic.

    • dentaldamboy

      @"@dentalboy" Pete Rock helped Pac craft his lyrical style. Pac went from a style in which he was sort of singing to a style in which he was rapping more. Just compare any of his materials pre and post 94 when he started messing with Pete Rock.

    • @dentalboy

      Can you tell me one thing I didn't get? What Pete Rock has to do with Pac???

    • dentaldamboy

      @Anonymous You must be both dim-witted and a sucker for love like your boy Nas. I stated multiple times in this thread that I think Stillmatic is a classic album. You proceed to cite Nastradamus sales but fail to recognize that going only 1x platinum in 99 was not that big a deal. For someone of Nas' name recognition, that was a fail back then. BTW, at which point did I start "talking tough". You word things like a fucking pussy, lol @ "talking tough". You're on here defending Nas by bragging about how happy you are with your long-term relationship. If you really wanted to learn from Nas, you would know that girls are only good for head and pussy and that's it. Nas should be ashamed to have fans like you.

    • Anonymous

      @dentaldamboy Apparently you have no clue what you are talking about. 2pac never damaged his brand cuz Nas was still selling and very popular after 2pac died. I Am was number 1 on the billboard charts for four weeks straight. And Nastradamus sold over a million copies. That was in 1999. Stillmatic came out in 2001 and sold over two million to date.. (i hate to bring up sales though. Hate that debate) And I never said Hip Hop is Dead was a classic but you admitted its a great CD. And don't talk tough behind a computer cuz that's weak. I can tell you're a nerd with acne problems and have no girl. Trust me. U dont

    • dentaldamboy

      @Digga Do you have ADHD? Are you incapable of reading 3 sentences? When I say it too Nas 6 years to recover, I'm clearly referring to Stillmatic as a class album, which came out 6 years after Pac dissed him. Hip Hip is dead was good, but not classic. Stop gassing up your gave lover Nas.

    • Anonymous

      yous a stupid ass dude

    • Anonymous

      6 classics? on what planet do you live? fuck outta here. lmao.

    • Anonymous

      AZ? eminem?

    • Anonymous

      Newsflash kids - Nas is still hear. Nigger album and distant relatives are both classic albums. Pac, nor Jay ended shit. NAS is the GOAT with 6 classics - jay is a close second with 4. Name another rapper.

    • Digga

      This is the biggest bullshit I ever heard. I don't believe this shit. This is hate to another degree. PAC had beef with Nas because of Death Row, I swear you guys on this site have no idea what hip hop is. And 2pac ending Nas' career? I guess mad platinum plaques earned from I am, Nastradamus, Stillmatic (which is a bonfire classic) and Hip hop is Dead is what ended Nas' career. Get the fuck of this site. You are a fucking moron.

    • Anonymous

      Nigga u serious^^^^^^???? PAC envy Nas. PAC beef was wit bad boy biggie and them but since Nas was from NYC and knew the kid was super nice that's why PAC called him the east coast ringleader... Even the Outlaws said PAC loved Nas.... " me and my girlfriend" was influenced by Nas " I gave u Power"....

    • say what?

      yo that's some bullshit right there. tupac and nas were boys. they made some diss songs, had beef for less than a year then they met in person, squashed it, then tupac got shot in vegas. know your history, son

  • Anonymous

    If this website had unique log-ins, there would only be 2 posters lol.

  • Anonymous

    Nas ur the Mannnnnnnnnnnmnnnnn!!!!!!!!!!

  • Anonymous

    Lmaoooo^^^^^^^^^^

  • Anonymous

    Swag u a son of a whore whose been on welfare since 2002 ur daddy told her to abort u but she said it was to late... How ur fosters parents doing? those 2 dudes still hold ur hand when u cross the street? No wonder ur gay! Tell Bob and Frank to raise u right "Swag"!

  • Anonymous

    i truly think nas got another classic comin, last time he had alot goin on in his life we got gods son. every track has been fire so far

  • Anonymous

    Hmmmmn, I predict a remix wit Hov.

  • Swag

    Fuck Nas & his whore of a daughter.

  • Anonymous

    this could be one of the greatest albums of all time. Nas is not my favourite rapper but lately hes been mudering everthing, give props where its due.

  • Anonymous

    Cats betta hurry and drop their albums before June. Nas bouta have cats push their albums back. Nas bouta SHUT THE INDUSTRY DOWN!

  • Anonymous

    "My daughters a whore" - Nas

  • Anonymous

    Nas is the G.O.A.T but he still sucks at picking beats..No I.D is so ill but that beat is boring...I'm still copping that Life is Good joint first day...

    • Digga

      Totally disagree. That beat perfectly matches those lyrics. That beat still stuck in my head and the lyrics. What you want it to be? A Lex Luger beat? Just Blaze? You want a tough ass beat rapping about his daughters and daughters across the country. Not everything need to have an 808 on it. You are the reason why I don't like this music like I did. That comment mad no sense

    • Anonymous

      agreed. nas has all the potential in the world, but he still chooses to make trash. out of all the dope beats dion probably had for him, he decided to take this?

    • Anonymous

      cmon this beat is fire compared the the beats he usually picks

    • Anonymous

      Boring. The beat is ill. Thats the good hip hop feeling beat man what you on?

  • Anonymous

    really? they had to ask what his inspiration was?? lol DID YOU LISTEN TO IT?

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