Nas Explains Meaning Behind "Life Is Good" Cover Art

Nas says that he's yet to hear from Kelis after featuring her green dress on his latest album cover.

Earlier this week, Nas unveiled the cover art of his upcoming album Life is Good, releasing July 17th. The image shows Esco perched on a black sofa with a green dress draped across his knee, assumed to be that of his ex-wife Kelis. During an interview with Rap-Up.com, the veteran rapper explained the meaning behind the image, stating that he's exposing his life on the cover.

"Life, love, joy, anger, celebration. There’s so many things you can see on that album cover. You see my life. My life is on that album cover," he said, noting that he hasn't heard from Kelis since the image was revealed. "We just put it out, so it's still way too fresh. [I'll hear from her] eventually at some point."

He also explained that the album, which has already spawned the singles "The Don" and "Daughters," is the product of him wanting to show a side of himself that fans may not have seen.

"My mindset was to pull out a side of me that people haven’t heard in a while and give ‘em that feeling that they haven’t felt in a while—a feeling that I love. And some of that feeling is ’90s-esque, some of that feeling is 2015. It’s just a feeling that I feel to be a timeless sound. So I just let it flow."

Read the full interview at Rap-Up.com.

RELATED: Nas Weighs In On Nicki Minaj Summer Jam Controversy, Friendship With Lauryn Hill

81 Comments

  • Me Nigga!

    Kelis is a fucking whore.

  • FURYAN

    THAT KIND OF MUSIC THAT WILL STAY SMOOTH

  • Anonymous

    This is sort of a brilliant diss record, the record he should have released when he put out Super Ugly. He hits Nas where he is most vulnerable, namely the fact that because Nas is so convincing as a conscious rapper (esp. on Illmatic), his attempts at crossover success have always appeared clumsy and pandering. Ever since the failure of The Firm Nas was in Jay-Zs shadow, as the latter accrued commercial success effortlessly, while Nas' efforts at pop stardom became increasingly labored and often cringeworthy (culminating in the infamous You Owe Me). Because of his unerring pop instincts, Jay-Z has cultivated only a single persona, the wisecracking, street-smart hustler, while Nas had to abandon the one persona that was true and convincing (the poet observing ghetto life from a project window) for personas that fit him poorly the drug kingpin Escobar, the babbling philosopher Nastradamus, the boring misogynist of You Owe Me which he thought were more likely to sell records. Nas' naked desire for fame makes him an easy target for Jay-Z, who points out how badly his different personas clash Nas isnt sure who he wants to be, while Jay-Z knows exactly who he is There is an irony here, as well: Jay-Z places so much stock in mass opinion (he thinks he is a better rapper than Nas in large part because he outsells Nas on a regular basis) that he is forced to admit defeat to Nas based on popular consensus, even though I think an objective reading would put Takeover ahead of Ether. So here Jay-Z admits defeat, but does so in the context of a diss track far more searing and true than anything Nas ever spit at him. His mixture of resignation and defiance on Blueprint 2 is impressive, his wordplay is sharp as ever; this track deserves to be remembered with Jay-Zs very best.

    • comachonavargas

      ^^^ Why are you discussing Blueprint 2? Among Jay's best tracks? Hardly... OH BEHAVE... YOUR LITTLE HOMIE JUNGLE IS A GARDEN TO ME... THE LITTLE HOMIE NAZ... what he can't even correctly pronounce his name? Lol... a significant part of that track is Jay complaining about the 'popular consensus' that he did get slaughtered, that fans who backed him betrayed him and sided with Nas, thereby 'helping him cheat.' I have a big problem with defending Jay over Nas just because Jay has consistently adopted a materialistic, 'I'm not a hustler I'm a rapper' persona without any so-called contradictions. First of all, Jay committed perhaps the biggest contradiction possible by proclaiming he 'did it for hip hop' on a track with Nas, ironically, while admitting 'fuck perception go with what makes cents' on moment of clarity. Second, Jay seriously cheapens the art form by firmly adhering to the hustler persona. I mean how many remotely non-materialistic tracks does Jay have in his whole catalogue? His materialistic songs easily outnumber his introspective shit 5 to 1, maybe closer to 8 to 1. Nas, however, covers more subject matter in one album than Jay does his whole career. And concept tracks? Jay has absolutely nothing while Nas is as good as it gets. For someone whose subject matter is as diverse as Nas, some contradictions are inevitable. It is the mark of a true artist, not some trend hopping hustler turned rapper whose most creative lines all relate to how he is better than the next man, be it based off of wealth, rapping abilities etc. Somehow because Nas is much more frequently on the conscious tip people deride him whenever he strays into anything that might be deemed commercial. It's like people expect him to never desire to crossover and gain a wider appeal like Jay. What, a guy with perhaps the greatest catalogue of all time can't be paid? Is money automatically incompatible with quality music? Rap can't be a reflection of any part of life except ace of spades, armands piquet watches, and maybachs? Jay gives you one side of rap and has done it extremely well. Nas gives you so many more sides consistently, contradictions admitted at times. All the money and success Jay has does not meaningfully represent the art form the same way Nas has. Don't get me started on Ether and Takeover. I will just say this... takeover more truthful than Ether? ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME? The thesis of takeover is that Nas is a 1 hot album every ten years artist, which required Jay to claim that IWW was wack. That is completely false and IWW is as good or better than any album in Jay's catalogue btw. So, therefore, no way is takeover fact like you guys claim. ONE

  • Anonymous

    Nas shifts between different personas seeking popular acclaim; Jay outsells him WITHOUT pretending to be anyone other than himself. That's why Jay the GOAT.

  • Anonymous

    "Dead Sea Scrolls for the last 2 weeks" Sounds thrilling. Real men don't drink wine BTW.

  • Anonymous

    what a dragqueen

  • Anonymous

    HEEELL Y EEEZZZ NIKKKAS FINALLY IT HAPPENED - JUST BOUGHT A NEW RIDE - A CAM A RO CONVERTIBLE.GOT APPROVED FOR 26 LARGE. BEEN 5 YRS SINCE IVE GOTTEN SHYT APPROVED, BUT NOW ALL MY CRE DIT SHEET GONE. ALL OF IT. IF YOU STRUGGLING WITH THAT CRE DIT HISTORY ISHH, GET RID OF ALL DAT TODAY - CALL THESE PEEPS AT 8^8^8-9-2-7 -3-3-5-6. . THEY DO AMAZING WORK AND THEY ARE CHEAP AS FUQQ. GOT RID OF ALL MY SHYYT IN NO TIME. MY HOMEBOY WAS IN THE GUTTA TOO, AND HE CLEANER THAN ME NOW-gettin a condo!! Hit em up - THEY WILL HELP U!!

  • So Icy Boi!

    Lil Wayne is da GOAT. - best sellin rapper - richest rapper - first black skater - first black rocker - most respected black artist - best beats swag

    • Check urself

      swag,beats,rockin, and skating have nothing to do with his talents as a rapper. And as of rich goes check out how much Jay-Z makes. We all know Wayne n young money killed hip the game

    • Arby Wan Kenobi

      Lol you guys REALLY need to start ignoring this kid. Rock 'n' roll is a genre CREATED by black people. If you didn't catch that troll, you need a mental check.

    • Flamez

      1st Black Skater= Terry Kennedy to my knowledge at least the first mainstream one,not Lil Wayne.First Black Rocker to my knowledge is Jimmi Hendrix not Lil Wayne.You young boys is dumb as fuck with no knowledge of your hip hop or music history in general my g. Get ya facts straight before spewing bullshit boy.Richest rapper is Jay Z,Puffy,and 50.Shit even Baby is pulling in more than him because Baby eats of of Waynes record sales duh.Best selling Rapper is Eminem,Best beats is subjective,most respected is subjective,but i'd put Krs One and Jay Z and Nas in that line for now.Along with a few other from the 80's and 90's era.

    • So Icy Boi's dad

      Son, what are you doing here? I thought all those 80s hip-hop records I played you when you was a kid would make you realise that Lil Wayne is the WOAT, not a GOAT.

  • pienman

    good look homie... i like that he placed his life on that cover cuz at the end of the day that is wat life is about! a combination of all things sweet & sour... THE TRUTH

  • Kickinknowledge

    You people disgust me..... Hip hop fans are the worst all the complaining and hate... Smh... This is gonna be a really great album by Nas... He truly evolved from a street lyricist to a master of words...What he does is art and should be appreciated for its introspective value...

  • Anonymous

    wayne is no where near GOAT status he stepped his lyrics up though em not doing a track wit just anybody RT

    • Elmo

      He stepped up the lyrics? No he fucking didn't...His lyrics are getting worse as the years go by. And Eminem would do a song with anyone these days...Especially the most popular rapper in the game. Eminem wants to stay relevant.

  • Sensaye252

    Wow. If you wanna know how pathetic the state of Hip-Hop is, all you need to do is read the comments on this website. You guys are a bunch of childish idiots. Nas - I hope it's a classic. Anyone who knows anything about lyrics knows you're one of the legends and one of the last kings of the golden age. Peace.

    • Anonymous

      lmao. you have the nerve to call others childish when you're sucking off the guy who wrote ether? hahahahahahaha. off yourself. nas and his stans are the most riduculous group of people ever.

    • The kid

      Woah! Not all of us are like that. I listen to Nas and appreciate his lyricism. This guy is a genius. Now it is true kids don't know, however our salvation is near. When this drops, who the fuck wouldn't know about Nas then?

    • North Carolina

      Yeah man these kids dont know man....if you was born in the 1990's you are not old enough to understand what Nas is doing right now...reason is that 1990 babies cant remember the start of Nas career...damn they even to young to remember when It Was Written dropped...sorry yall missed out

  • Anonymous

    To the yessir - you keep posting comments claiming lil wayne is GOAT -_- its obvious your a female or a homosexual from the comments you put saying you love how he looks etc... you clearly know nothing about rap aswell. Lilwayne and YMCMB are now just commercial rappers making songs for 12year old girls they have the same fanbase as justin beiber these days. Lyrically nas is one of the greatest he has proven that time and time again, obviously you think his stuff doesn't make sense because you can't understand anything beyond a club banger chorus. I'd like to see lil wayne diss nas then get slaughtered because wayne is lyrically weak pusha T came harder than he did lately listen to exodus 23:1 and then lil waynes response in ghoulish its laughable

    • hellno

      I hate to say it... but YESSIR is right. The only people more annoying than trolls is the people who react to them

    • YESSIR

      NIGGA U JUST SERIOUSLY REPLIED TO SOME TROLLS. BASICALLY WE ARE MAKING FUN OF STUPID NIGGAS LIKE U AND WITH UR REPLY U MAKE US LAUGH U DUMBASS BITCH HAHA. GET SMART NIGGA CUZ RIGHT NOW UR JUST OUR STUPID MUPPET NIGGA BITCH

    • NoPoint

      No point dickriders stay dickriders.

  • K9

    Wow, i can't believe all the hate on here for Esco. If people refer to Jay as the best, well Jay went after Nas and lost. Lyrically, Nas is in a league of his own. I mean Wayne has proven his worth, but he is nowhere near Nas.

  • ma

    are you even normal you yessir,ass wipe,scrotum,whatever your name i

  • Anonymous

    fuck lil wayne fuckin fake blood skateboarding wannabe gangsta he's so fake its unreal fuck the whole of YMCMB. Eminem,Nas,Tupac,Big pun,Biggie,Eazy,Rakim,Big l,are the best rappers of all time pick someone from the list cause they can be classed as the best.but wayne and all these fake rappers these days are shit.

    • YESSIR

      WAYNE IS A LEGEND BITCH! Y U MAD? NO ONES CARES ABOUT THOSE BOOOOORING ASS RAPPERS! WEEZY GOTS THE SWAG AND BEST LYRICS EVER WRITTEN SO SHUT DA FUCK UP N GO BACK TO LISTEN TO UR CASSETTE PLAYER U UGLY FUCK! YMCMB ALL ERRDAY!

  • Anonymous

    This loser looks like he thinking bout putting that dress on.

  • YESSIR

    NAS IS DONE! LIL WAYNE IS G.O.A.T.!! ILOVE HIS HARD SEXY ASS IN THOSE TIGHT YELLOW PANTS, AND HIS SEXY LIP RINGS!!! YMCMB

  • BASEDBOY

    That dress clearly symbolizes how he is changing gender: from Male to Female. Nas is a known homosexual & he has shown it to us on this album cover. Lil B the BasedGod will smoke this muthafucka up in any joint! BASEDWORLD! WE IN THIS MUHFUCKA

  • BASEDBOY

    Lil B the BasedGod > Tupac > Barney > Nas #ColdHardFact

  • BAWSE

    NAS= BEST LIVING 2PAC = GOAT NEVEA 4GET IT U LAMES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • YESSIR

    LIL WAYNE IS THE G.O.A.T and thats a COLD HARD FACT!

    • Waly Coyote

      @yessir yo did you just claim Carter 4 as being a classic.... that the worst lil Wayne album evet

    • fresh87

      @YESSIR..Of course nas music makes no sense to you,you'r mentally retarded.

    • YESSIR

      NAS IS AN OLD FART AND BORING AS FUCK! HIS LYRICS MAKE NO SENSE AT ALL! THA CARTER 4 IS A CLASSIC AND REBIRTH CHANGED THE RAP GAME! LISTEN TO SOME REAL MUSIC FAGIT. YMCMB ALL DAY ERRDAY!

    • Anonymous

      Nigga go listen to Nas Albums,Illmatic,It Was Written,I am,Stillmatic,and N The Nigga Album.Then go listen to Every Lil Wayne album should be about 8.The Block is Hot,Lights Out,500 Degrees,The Carter 1-4,not counting the human being joint. Not counting beats just lyrics and concepts and tell me who the better MC is.The only knock on Nas is the production he picks,lyrically he never missed a step.And to SO Icy Boi Nas never officially sign to The Inc. He just did a few tracks with them in between deals.

  • So Icy Boi!

    how can u call hom the GOAT or a king when this nigga has signed with Murder Inc. How can u even say he's at waynes level when his ex wife got more money off one single than all of his shitty singles. I dont see wayne with a bitch fucking him over some prenup fuckery after some wedding..this nigga calls himself the Don..haha hes a pussy whipped lil bitch. Nas as a rapper hes okay..but cmon son the nigga signed with murder inc!!!

    • Waly Coyote

      Wayne's pussy whipped to he's been fucked over by women plenty of times and he wasn't even married to them. Hell one chick called him up claiming to have his baby this dumb ass nigga sent her mad money and he never heard from her himself and this came from his mouth

    • YESSIR

      WAYNE IS BOSS OF THE GAME. EVEN BITCH ASS NAS SUCKED WAYNES DICK ON THAT OUTRO TRACK ON THA CARTER 4 AKA THE BEST ALBUM OF ALL TIME. YMCMB ALLDAY ERRDAY!

    • Anonymous

      stop feeding the trolls

    • IDK

      Umm....since when was Nas signed to Murder Inc? The only record labels he was signed to are Columbia, Ill Will, Def Jam, and his own imprint, The Jones Experience.

  • Anonymous

    I think that it's a prom dress to symbolize his daughter being grown now.

    • BASEDBOY

      That dress clearly symbolizes how he is changing gender: from Male to Female. Nas is a known homosexual & he has shown it to us on this album cover. Lil B the BasedGod will smoke this muthafucka up in any joint! BASEDWORLD! WE IN THIS MUUUHFUCKA

    • Anonymous

      ur a fag!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

    • bah

      kelis wore a green dress to there wedding...fact

  • #nomixing

    After I skeet, I lose interest #kanyeshrug

  • Anonymous

    "I'ma burn something nice, grill something nice, pop a bottle and marinate" Sounds thrilling. Try reading a book.

    • Anonymous

      I've been reading the Dead Sea Scrolls for the last 2 weeks, which book are you reading? And yes I will purchase the CD, ignite my medicinal, cook something on my grill in the backyard and pop the cork on a wine bottle in my rack. Where did you see that you were speaking to a misguided youngster that needs more studies?

    • Anonymous

      Dumb ass. Try getting off the internet and reading a book or getting laid for once shit for commenter.

  • ASEE

    Fucking pumped for this album. Gonna cop it on vinyl the day it drops.

  • Robbin Tanks 4 Ammo

    I am looking forward to this. He's a true MC

  • shady

    is this dude yessir serious 15 year old hip hop fan shit everythings a flop these days considering what these people say wayne sold a couple mil great eminem did that shit in one week back in the day nas comes from a time when people actually respected the music and stood behind their artists n bought their albums ymcmb are ruining hip hip not helping it now their signing a bunch of dumbass artists theyll bankrupt themselves thinking their hip hops gods. please nas is a hip hop legend one of the top 5 breathing

    • Anonymous

      Honestly, that's not even him, his name has run it's course on here and the true, actual ugly within self trolls who don't give a damn about the music are using it.

  • YESSIR

    FLOP,FLOP,FLOP!!! WHEN HIS CONTRACT RUNS UP AT DEFJAM HE BETTER HOPE YMCMB GIVE HIM A CHANCE AT A CONTRACT. THAT IS THE ONLY WAY HE CAN MAKE A HIT. I CAN'T FOR THE 12TH SO I CAN GET THAT TRIPLE F LIFE!!! I'LL PICK IT UP ON MY WAY HOME FROM THE ASSHOLE SALON. I'M HEADING IN TO GET MY ANUS BLEACHED IN ORDER TO UP MY SWAG. YMCMB

    • Anonymous

      STFU! Waynes old ass needs to quit rap so that Tyga, Cory and the rest can run this rap shit. Looking like a burnt piece of toast with those tattoos. THE REAL YOUNG MONEY FOOL!

  • Jason

    love the symbolism my nigga!!! im copin the album for sure for 3 reasons: the thinking u put into the cover art, the 90's feel this album has cause it was written had that mob dark beats shit!!! and cause whenever u jump on a reggae sounding song i love it!!! cant wait for distant relatives 2 i think dancehall and good rap is the future!!!

  • Anonymous

    Seems like those 2 world tours hanging with the Marleys has him inspired to build. I look forward to listening while he vents. He knows about all the gossip being said, "Daughters" is a perfect example of how he 8 Mile'd it and the album cover is symbolism. And the machine is behind this. A guarantee buy on the first day, I'ma burn something nice, grill something nice, pop a bottle and marinate.

  • Anonymous

    Let it go Nas. Kelis will take one look at that cover, laugh and know she took you for an expensive ride.

  • jp

    Eminem-"me quiting rap is like Nas doing R&B" It happened Em

  • Jason

    creative shit!!! i like it!! the poetic image of one persons absence and the facial confidence like Well im still here Whut!!!

  • Anonymous

    actually 3 singles in if you include Nasty

  • Word?

    So we are officially 2 singles in? Im not feeling that magic. I will say that hopefully his best material is to come but usually that comes first, right? They'll probably push him back.

    • ASEE

      foreel? Not feeling Nasty, The Don, or Daughters?? Shit, I mean to each their own but I think it's Nas' best material in years.

  • kennyken

    i sure hope it's a sound that sounds good

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