Nas Says "Illmatic" Was "Perfect" & That "Life Is Good" Is "Excellence"

Nas says "Illmatic" was a "perfect" album and talks about growth before sharing that "Life is Good" is "Hip Hop Excellence."

Upon releasing his new album, Life is Good, Nas spoke about the growth he's experienced between his first and latest projects. The QB emcee spoke with Fuse about the changes he's seen in himself within those years and how he went from saying "life's a bitch" to "life is good." 

When asked what he would change about his debut album, 1994's Illmatic, Nas revealed something he had difficulty expressing before. He acknowledged that while he couldn't always say this to himself, he felt the album was "perfect." 

"Nothing," he said of what he would change on the disc. "It's nine songs on there. The intro makes it ten but it's only nine songs. I think it's a perfect record. It's a perfect record. I couldn't say that before but there are so many different dynamics to it." 

Nas then went on to explain how elements from that album have influenced several others, including his photograph on the front of the disc, a trait seen on other projects since. 

However, beyond that, he also spoke on the changes he has experienced through the years. He noted patience as something he's learned more about with time. He also shared that his children have had a resounding impact on him since the release of his first album, one that featured songs like "Memory Lane (Sittin' in da Park)" and "Life's a Bitch," a track he referenced in this interview while taking a short trip back in time. 

"Back then, I said, 'Life's a bitch.' Today I say, 'Life is good.'"

The saying references his album title, of course. So Nas was asked about how he'd rate Life is Good, released this week. 

"Life is Good is excellence. I would say it's Hip Hop excellence and I realize how much better I could have made it so now I'm in a zone."   

The video for the interview can be seen below:

RELATED: Nas - "Life Is Good" Album Stream 

104 Comments

  • BasedBoy

    I hate this nigga Nas. He makes me sick. I hate the way he fuckin acts, like he thinks people listen to his trash or respect his "art". This nigga is a disgrace, a joke, a monstrosity. Hopefully people will lynch this bitch and become fans of YMCMB.

  • ETK

    You insecure asstards that are shooting down anyone who praises Life is good, eat a dick and get a life! No opinion is absolute, no matter how many times have u call someone a dickrider. Speaking of which, it's so funny seeing niggas call others dickriders when they themselves go by the opinion that "illmatic is on some next level shit" haha what the hell nigga please.

  • Anonymous

    "Life Is Good is miles ahead of Illmatic...both lyrically" Not even close.

  • Anonymous

    FUUQQ YEEZ MY NIKKAS FINALLY IT HAPPENED - JUST GOT 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 CREDITT 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!!,

  • BLACK

    NIGGAZ ALWAYS SAY NAS SHIT AINT GOOD ENOUGH...STOP LISTENING THEN, MAYBE U CREATING FALSE EXPECTATIONS FOR "YOURSELF"

  • Anonymous

    for today standards its good but back in the day the album would be decent. nas can do better then this and again the beats are fucking wack with exception of a few

    • BradZuk

      yep. underwhelming. good hip hop, but just... underwhelming. i liked the beats for the most part, and his flow was exceptional as always. but nas just isnt a particularly interesting mind. He's incoherent as a person, and nothing he says has any resonance with me. LIke hes got "daughters" (which, by the way, has the worst hook of all time -- "shit for niggas with daughers... not sayin our sons are less important" ...?!? really?!?) and then goes on to keep rappin about all his hoes. its like.. come on nas. fucking think for a second.

    • bkstylz

      I agree with both of you.

    • Anonymous

      Exactly, this is absolutely nothing special. Nas could do such much better, but the truth gets soaked up in all the bizarre dickriding. The story of Nas' career, always coming through with highly underwhelming albums.

  • Etown780

    Hahaha some of you hiphop website "commenters" are fucking hilarious, saying that only white suburban kids listen to Nas and shit, shuuut the fuck up you dickhead, Nas is quality hiphop not that most of you fucking retards listen or support that anymore.

  • Fuck Marcy

    Illmatic= MECCA Life Is Good= MEDINA

  • Tito509

    Name a rapper he hasn't influenced.........nothing else needs to be said

  • BK

    Life Is Good is miles ahead of Illmatic...both lyrically and production wise...any hip hop purist will tell you that.

  • Anonymous

    NAS GREATEST RAPPER OF ALL TIME!!! LIFE IS GOOD!

  • Anonymous

    Does anyone other than fake white subarban kids who think they know hip hop liten to Nas anymore? If so your probably lying cuase I dont know anyone...

  • m

    God people are stupid. Life IS Good is a 3/5 at best. People worship dude because theyv'e been brainwashed that 'anything mainstream is evil' and are to lazy to discover real underground emcees to support. Nas is trash. Rick Ross and Jay-Z all the way.

    • MrRickster

      It's "intelligently" smart one. And Rick Ross is wack as hell

    • m

      how am i an attention whore? im just stating my opinion, oh wait its the FACTS. maybe u could respond to my post integliegently or maybe u just cant argue the FACTS

    • Anonymous

      attention whores shock value....what else is new lmao.

    • d-nucks

      really Nas is trash?...souljah boy is trash...THERE IS NO WAY IN HELL YOU CAN PUT THEM IN THE SAME CATERGORY....why am I even responding to you?....i failed for he waisting my time

  • Anonymous

    Anonymous: yeah summer of smash makes me think of bravehearts party...trash tracks holding back great albums +++++++++++++++ THRILLER HAD A WEAK TRACK ON IT HOW'D THAT TURN OUT? Y'ALL JUST WANNA TALK DO LIKE EVERYBODY BEEN DOIN FOR DECADES SKIP IT & MOVE 2 THE NEXT TRACK SMMFH

  • jg

    I know their gna give it a 3.5, but why is DX slacking so hard on the review for this album!? IT'S The biggest release of the summer so far

  • Anonymous

    How can u say itwas perfect when it only had 9 songs on it. Dont grt me wrong great album and by far his best(and only real classic) nas is good but def one of the modt over rated dudes in history. And if u like nas and talk shit bout ross never selling drugs then the fucks wrong with u lmao.

    • Anonymous

      Only Built 4 Cuban Linx, Live And Let Die, Resurrection, Black Star, Illadelph Halflife >>>>>>>>>>> Illmatic.

  • OPEN YOUR EYES AND BE A GOOD CRITIC INSTEAD OF TYPING WITHOUT THINKING

    Illmatic was 18 years in the making, Life is Good was 2-3 years. Do the knowledge and understand his debut can't be surpassed so its pointless to make retarded judgements about his flow or how commercial it sounds. Just accept that in today's hip hop climate, it is a landmark modern classic, short and sweet with 14 tracks.

    • Anonymous

      Classic in this climate? Hahaha, you Nas fans and your fucking ignorance, you're just listening to the wrong shit, you idiot.

    • m

      No, not even close. Nas has never followed up Illmatic with an equally aclaimed album. Jay-Z has. You just can't argue the facts. This is so far from a 'modern classic' its almost laughable one might assume that.

  • sun_god7

    Best Nas in a minute. No complaints except for one track. 9/10 compared to today's HipHop. It's not Illmatic. Reasonable Doubt is not better than Illmatic. Nothing that Wayne ever did is better than Illmatic. Let' not compare anything other than Ready to Die to Illmatic.

  • asdf

    everyone is just making statements without giving reasons. fuck that tell my why you think a certain way, or you all just too retarded to come up with reasons for not liking the album besides, "I'm a Jay z fan." No I am not saying being a jay z fan makes you retarded, just tell me why you dont like the album that actually has to do with the music.

  • Anonymous

    "The songs have no real flow" Nas will never be able to deliver another Illmatic. It's just not possible, so the sooner people accept this, the easier it will be to move past expectations and just accept the music being put out there. Remember too Def Jam probably controlled alot of what you heard on this album. Aside from 2-3 songs that sound like typical Nas, it could be a Kanye album.

  • jerryc

    I said it yesterday and I will say it again...Life is good isnt good for Nas. For todays hip hop of course its good. Todays hip hop sucks. People saying he has better beats on this? What hte hell are you smoking? Just cause its no ID doesnt mean its a good beat. The songs have no real flow. No introduction and reach out are the two best; but the cd is very average. Its far from a classic. Get your perceptin back and pop in stillmatic

  • Anonymous

    yeah summer of smash makes me think of bravehearts party...trash tracks holding back great albums

  • YOUR KING, BITCH

    NASSHOLE = FLOPPED WITH PURE R&B ALBUM, GARBAGE FEATURES, NO LIL WAYNE COLLAB, LAME ASS 90'S BEATS, BITCHY WHINNIES OVER KELIS, AND HIS SALES WILL INSTANTLY GO TO KELIS' POCKET. NAS = FAGGOT JAY-Z = WINNER LIL WAYNE = KING

  • Anonymous

    Illmatic is damn classic and Life is Good is a classic as well. Both of these albums are great with the times that they were released. All those hating on Illmatic wasn't born or coherent around Illmatic's release and then on.

    • Anonymous

      ilmatic came out i was 2 i own the 10yr disk..

    • Anonymous

      Life Is Good a classic, haha, it's so fucking ridiculous. I'll just leave it at that, because you simply can't argue with dickriding retards.

    • sun_god7

      People hating on Illmatic never heard the album within the context of it's time. Illmatic would still stand today as a classic, but I doubt it would get radio airplay in today's Pop-oriented HipHop. I don't think Life is Good is a classic (one track I skip always), but it's a damn good album for today and the bonus tracks make it better. Radio friendly if corporate radio takes the risk to shine on Nas and what he symbolizes for the culture.

  • Sincere

    I have to disagree with Nas, they're both perfect.

  • Anonymous

    "Life is Good is excellence. I would say it's Hip Hop excellence and I realize how much better I could have made it so now I'm in a zone." (sigh)

  • D From Q.U.

    Shut the fuck up and worry about whats in YOUR pockets, faggot.

  • Hov the god MC

    Nas need to shut the fuck up and pray this album sales enough that he can pay his child support. Life is good is good compared to the shit out right now, but all of Jay's recent albums shit on this. Nas need to pick better beats and step his game up. Nigga aint been the same since Jay nearly ended him on Takeover.

    • Anonymous

      Jay's verse on "No Church In The Wild" >>>>>>>>>>>>> Life Is Good. And you can you put a shitty copycat CD to a real masterpiece that pushed the boundaries? We would've never heard this garbage called "Life Is Good" without Kanye. Get a grip of real artistry and fuck your ignorant ass outta here.

    • Fuck Marcy

      ^^^Ayo fam revisit that Success track on Jay's American Gangster album...Son destroyed Hov,plus Jay tip his hat to Nas when he was interviewed about it.

    • Anonymous

      co sign Anon Life is Good >>> BP3 and Life is Good most definitely >>>>>>>>>>>> Watch the Throne

    • Anonymous

      Life Is Good>BP3 ANYDAY....

  • Anonymous

    "I have deleted summer on smash on my iTunes" It wasn't that bad.

  • Mortis

    Summer on Smash keeps it from flawless.

    • BK

      All the broads that heard Summer On Smash love it...go figure.

    • Anonymous

      "we make the world go round" wasn't a bad song and it definitely would have been more fitting on Life Is Good than "summer on smash".

    • ..

      I have deleted summer on smash on my iTunes. straight up garbage. But no one can take away It Was Written. Enjoy life.

    • Anonymous

      Summer of Smash is like that song on Untitled that featured Chris Brown and the Game which disrupted the flow of the album. Otherwise Life if Good is amazing

  • Chunk King

    5/5 Album. Best damn album in at least a few years. If you disagree, then tell me what's been better?? And don't u dare come out with some wack ass wayne rick ross 2 chainz new skool fake rap

    • FURYAN

      LIFE IS GOOD . . . ALBUM OF THE YEAR BITCHES THE WHOLE YM CAN'T EVEN TOP THAT SEEING EVERY 3RD TURD OUT THERE CALLIN THEM THE BEST (FORGETTING THAT EVEN PUSHA T MADE THEM SWEAT COCKS ON A SO CALLED DISS TRACK ... WHO KNOWS WHO CARES) . NOT EVEN JAY Z COULD TOP LIFE IS GOOD. JAY'S LAST ALBUM WAS'NT "ALL THAT" NAS EEEESH THE BEST RAPPER ALIVE

  • Rashid Muhammad

    You're just some butt scratching sissified pasteurized homogenized cracker loving scared of death ass negro that fell off a long time ago.

  • Fuck Queensbridge

    Arrogant ass nigga, Illmatic isn't perfect and Life Is Good is the worst album you ever released.

  • lol

    lol to whoever that was that said teflon don college drop out and state vs radric is better than illmatic i aint knockin your taste but what made you click on a nas story in the 1st place? hatin doesnt even pay minimum wage why do it

  • Omecca

    For EVERYONE always talking about a AZ feature on EVERY Nas album, let me ask you a question: when was the last time YOU bought a AZ album???? If AZ had as many fans as HHDX says, he'd go PLATINUM on every album! Good God, some of you people need a life and bad....

  • Anonymous

    A classic album!

  • Anonymous

    Why people hatin nas???

  • Anonymous

    Illmatic wasn't flawless, but pretty close. More so than Reasonable Doubt. Life is Good is better than expected. Lyrically, Nas seems motivated again. Minus a few of the weaker songs (Summer on Smash just to name one) it shows he still has something left.

  • Anonymous

    "Also a premo track with AZ" Enough already about AZ. If Nas had wanted him on the album he would have been.

  • Anonymous

    Illmatic suuuuucks. Got nothin on classics like Life After Death, College Dropout, Teflon Don, Reasonable Doubt, and The State vs. Radric Davis

  • mike hall

    i think all of you guys should kill yourselves

  • ItsTheTruth

    "Life is Good is excellence. I would say it's Hip Hop excellence and I realize how much better I could have made it so now I'm in a zone." Take out the Swizz Beatz track and the Rick Ross feature and the project becomes THAT much better. Also a premo track with AZ would have been epic and added more greatness to the album.

    • Anonymous

      The track with Ross was good it's just Officer Ricky being on it...

    • Anonymous

      i 100% agree with u about the swizz n ross track would make this album so much better with out but ive heard snippets of the album n that shit sounds dope so ima buy it this week or nxt week

  • Anonymous

    FUUQQ YEEZ MY NIKKAS FINALLY IT HAPPENED - JUST GOT 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 CREDITT 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!!

  • youngsta

    title should say: nas says "illmatic" was "shitty" and that "life is good" is "even worse". who else agrees?

  • Anonymous

    Self-praise is no praise at all, fucking loser.

  • Anonymous

    uh the beats from illmatic were shit like all your beats nas.

    • Fuck Outta Here

      what's the fucking point in trolling? Seriously, what do you get out of it? If that's your thing, cool, whatever. I just don't see the sense in wasting your time to jump on the internet and pretend to hate everything.

    • Humz

      I'm only 20 so I have no idea about what it was like when Illmatic dropped. But please shut up. Being a big Nas fan, even though I was only 2 years old at the time of Illmatic dropping, I know that the impact of the album was huge, and for the time, the beats were fantastic. You must be pretty young too if you don't understand.

    • Anonymous

      illmatic = most overrated album of all times, which leads to nas being the most overrated rapper ever. there's so many better albums.

    • Anonymous

      it had 4 dope beats the rest was just to slow and mellow

    • Anonymous

      To add to my above statement, I don't know shit about rap. Carry on.

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