Nas Explains Why DJ Premier Didn't Appear On "Life Is Good"

Nas explains why longtime partner DJ Premier didn't make the final cut on "Life is Good."

Even though Nas's recently released tenth solo album Life is Good has been been earning the rapper heaps of critical praise, many golden era purists were let down by the lack of a collaboration between the QB emcee and the legendary DJ Premier. Now, in a recent interview with Young & Reckless, Nasty Nas explains why his "NY State of Mind" partner didn't appear on his latest LP.

According to Nas, he didn't want to force a collab with Premo for the highly personal album. He explained that he felt that every song on Life is Good needed to fit the overall theme, an issue that would conflict with Premo's usual style of recording. Still, Nas hinted that fans shouldn't give up hope of seeing the two work together again, saying that they are, "cooking something up soon."

"I mean, I told Premier not this album," he said. "I started with Premier and that's a big deal to me…with this album, I wanted No I.D. and Salaam Remi to get together and pull out my dream for me. You've got Swizz Beatz, you've got J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League also, and Buckwild. Working with Premier is a different experience, it's a whole different thing. Premier's been in the game [since] before me, No I.D. and Salaam, so that's not something you just do to put on an album. To the Nas listeners, to the Nas-Premier fans out there, we're cooking something up soon."

As of last, Nas and Premo were reportedly toying with the idea of recording a collaborative LP. Check out the full interview below.

RELATED: DJ Premier Speaks On The Background Story Of Nas' "Memory Lane”



  • Anonymous

    i guess he divorced the real producers. like his wife.

  • Anonymous

    hot beats and hot lyrics go hand and hand. one needs the other. nas album would have been sick with some hot,street,boom bap beats. his lyrics is already there. like jay for instance this album with kanye isnt hot. its luke warm. wack ass beats. when kanye first came his beats were hot. now hes getting lazy. same as jay z. his albums started to go down hill with corny music. all in all nas just need hot boom bap beats. lost in hip hop nowadays.

    • Anonymous

      I disagree. Watch the throne is a classic, although I did not like the first time I heard it, but after I listened to it a second time, I have been enjoying it

  • comachonvargas

    'VVVVRROOMM... You guys get all that?' Jay 3 Kings. Yeah Jay I got it... sounds like the I know what girls like 2012? Or would you say Oochie Wally 2012? Imagine if Nas did that... I bet I would see the '100 Reasons Nas Lost' post resurrected... at least I could laugh at that one... but I digress While Jay is dropping his 2012'OH BEHAVE' material LIG is the most commercially accessible album of Nas career and won't get the misguided reviews IWW got... straight good music You guys can pull the 'another Nas dickrider essay routine' all you want because this is just legitimately excellent work by Nas... don't like it then don't post here 'This is an r&b album'... yeah sure it is... No Intro, Locomotive, back when, you wouldn't understand, trust, where's the love, the black bond, accident murderers... sound like I can 2012 don't they? And No ID was tight at least until he started giving Nas tracks right? Yeah the beats are wack once again I know Why are you guys even jocking Jay anyways? Ye's verse on New God Flow smashes anything Jay has done since AG LOL LOL you Jay fans get your feathers ruffled every time people give Nas props, regardless of whether Jay has any place in the conversation... Then you resort to insulting dude based on his personal life, his daughter, the IRS, his divorce, his signing with Def Jam... but IM the insecure Nas stan I got it

  • spike373

    why? why is all this brew ha ha taking place? The album is dope (my opinion)! This is 2012 we have to expect that there will be some label politics in retail albums. For example; the misplaced verse from Rick Ross. Yes, that is a lead in for Rick Ross' album. Additionally, the two misplaced possible radio friendly songs (Summer on Smash and Reach Out), which have been rap album staples since the '90s (probably since forever). If you like the album great if you don't great. Make your constructive points and leave it at that. Don't be a stan don't be a troll. Grow up! Preferred sequencing of LIG: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ No Introduction Nasty Loco-Motive A Queens Story Accident Murderers Where's The Love World's An Addiction The Don You Wouldn't Understand Back When Daughters Stay Trust Roses Cherry Wine Bye Baby

    • Anonymous

      Man, big up for sequencing albums. I did this since Blueprint 3, often including leftovers and joints that originally planned to be singles, but ended up just promotional songs. I'll give a try with your playlist for Life Is Good, feel free to post more if you want.

    • Anonymous

      i like your sequencing and the fact that you excluded Summer On Smash

  • Anonymous

    "Nas is a sellout" I'm sure he's glad he sold out. For awhile, Life was Good for him.

  • nsparks923

    Boy I tell you, I have never seen another artist get so much criticism and get held to unbelievable standards than Nas. It is utterly impossible for him to please some people no matter what he does. Its like damn if he do, damn if he dont. The hate is always going to come from one side or the other. In an era where lyrics have fallen off the cliff. Trash rap, no topics, no flow, no thoughtfulness...etc. Yet people still dont appreciate the lyrical gems that get laced on Life Is Good. Shit is on a different level that this other shit. Hard for me to understand. Just my opinion.

  • pienman

    damn, the homie keeps it G with this joint... he on the winning side & i hope the brother can continue to keep the momentum going

  • 40

    If anyone hate the beat selection for life is good maybe they just prefer the trap or dirty south beats. I like them as well but they do not fit the scenery of the dirty ass subway system. This is that boom bap for our city. Those who don't like it can turn on their southern hip hop. This CD is for the older genre. Young ninjas got to get some life experience.

  • Anonymous

    Muthafuckas talkin about "Nas sold out". WTF? Queens Story is a sellout song? Loco-Motive is a sellout song? Daughters? Trust? The Don? Nas summed up every hater on this post in the song Stay. Go back n listen. Then shut the fuck up while you're at it.

    • Anonymous

      real dudes still waiting for the first album in this day of age.

    • Anonymous

      Nas is a sellout, deal with it. He couldn't resist putting Summer On Smash and Rick Ross on there, not to mention all the soft ass beats and terrible, wanna be appealing hooks.

    • Anonymous

      Man they either trolls or they reckon having an album on Def Jam is selling out

  • Acesun

    You herbs complaining, are just products of listening to whack music years on end, you have been programmed to have an ear for whackshit, you wouldn't know a hot record if it hit you in the face. Your supposed to grow, not keep the same producers on every album you release. And it's about the lyrics, you kids listen to music wrong, you check for the beat first then you try to dissect the message, LISTEN TO THE MESSAGE, fuck the beats, the beats is just icining on the cake. And this Album the production and sounds is amazing, stop thinking that every record released needs to sound like MMG, SMDH the corporate king pins have really bleached this generation on music taste because they flood the airwaves with whackshit...and promote whackshit... You have now been brainwashed to listen to music with whack lyrics and hot beats, SMDH...You clowsn will let corporate America kill the artform, it all started out with two turntables and a mic, now we have auto-tune, drum machines etc etc...SMDH

    • Anonymous

      where r the real beats

    • Anonymous


    • ETL

      You're acting like artists like Puff Daddy and Vanilla Ice weren't big due to past generations. ^ True but it wasn't all that was around to listen to or being played on the radio, plus you would've never thought it would get worse and oversaturated by it. And while I agree that not all hip hop should have message we shouldn't have to dig deep to find to one either, there's a hip hop song for every subject you can think of and more than one perspective but we only hear three (sex, money, party). Overall sales numbers are reflecting that, because everybody in the same lane and there's more than one car to choose.

    • Anonymous

      LOL @ this dumb ass reasoning that I hear time and time again from you close-minded Nas stans. Don't forget that Nas proudly uses every media outlet to promote the exact sound of Hip Hop that he made responsible for the killing of the artform a few years ago when he quickly needed a gimmick to create a buzz. In case you didn't know, Hip Hop started as dance music and it was about beats, til' people slowly started to spit some words to the beats and it was and will ALWAYS be about bragging (see "Nasty", "Black Bond" and "The Don"), the artists that get marketed as "alternative" have fooled YOU. If you want lyrics alone, read poetry or even books, this is MUSIC and Illmatic is so revered to this day because the beats were absolutely perfect and complimented Nas' lyrics in every way.

    • Anonymous

      Damn you guys over think things. Firstly, don't judge a whole generation because of some people who like shit on the radio, that applies to every generation. You're acting like artists like Puff Daddy and Vanilla Ice weren't big due to past generations. Secondly, Hip Hop doesn't always need to have a message. Shit, it was built on telling everybody how great you are through rapping. Greats like Big L and even Biggie in my opinion didn't have much of a message (at least a positive one) and so to say that you are wrong for liking artists without a message is just close-minded to me. Sure I do enjoy listening to some KRS-One and some Talib, but what's so bad about me wanting to bang some MMG if I enjoy it?? Don't get me wrong though, I do partly understand and agree with what your saying, the corporates are fucking up the genre.

  • Sandra

    People hold Nas to impossible standards. He can never win no matter what he does. Even if he did another album with all Premo, Pete Rock beats people would say he's stuck in the past and does nothing new. Because they really don't care about what they're complaining about, they just want to complain about Nas. There was not a damn thing wrong with the beats on that album. Even the Swizz Beatz song wasn't really bad to me. Let me ask you this.. How come you don't complain about other artist beats? You say Jay-Z Blueprint is classic but doesn't that have Hola Hoveto on it? That song is classic material? Right??? In fact, most artists albums that drop have wack beats/skip songs, but for other people you just settle. Why aren't you asking other artists to live up to Illmatic? Why does Jay-Z get a pass for not working with Premo anymore? But Nas is constantly forced to work with these outdated producers... I think people say all this crap and hate Nas because he's that alpha male who has everything. He's damn near perfect at what he does, plus he's rich, he looks good and doesn't age, just an all around lucky man. I think that's why people always try to bring him down to their level by being overly critical of everything he does. They want to confirm in their heads that "He's not so great" to feel better about themselves and their own shitty lives.

    • Anonymous

      Quiet Storm Music.

    • Real TAlk

      If jay never claimed he was hip hops savior.. why he named himself jay hova?

    • Anonymous


    • Anonymous

      "They want to confirm in their heads that "He's not so great" to feel better about themselves and their own shitty lives." THANKS for that GREAT argument, I'll apply that well thought out logic to anyone that ever dares to criticize my favorite rapper.

    • Anonymous

      Music writers criticized its mainstream, R&B and pop-leaning sound, as well as the enlistment of a top production unit and popular guest artists. The album's lyrics and themes were also poorly received and heavily dismissed as an attempt by Nas to follow the popularity of gangsta and mafiaso rap. Rolling Stone's Mark Coleman wrote negatively of Nas's themes and called it "the latest blatant example of trashy tough-guy talk", writing "Certainly he strikes a note of creepy realism in his stories of heavyweight dealing and literally cutthroat competition. 'The Set Up', 'Shootouts' and 'Affirmative Action' are chilling in their how-many-grams-to-a-kilo detail and utter amorality. On 'Watch Dem Niggas', Nas cites as inspirations both the boxing coach Cus D'Amato and the murderous drug lord Pablo Escobar. What is this guy thinking?". Jon Pareles of The New York Times commented that he "continually shifts perspective" and called it "late-stage gangsta rap, starting to buckle under its own contradictions." The Village Voice's Robert Christgau gave the album a "neither" rating, indicating "may impress once or twice with consistent craft or an arresting track or two. Then it won't."

    • Anonymous

      LOL. Fuck you idiotic revisionists. Check some forums around the time IWW was released and reviews from back then and don't confuse the feelings you got when you first listened to IWW with reality. The album proved to be Nass most commercially successful release, debuting at number one on the US Billboard 200 chart and selling 3 million copies worldwide. It also heralded Nass mainstream popularity, despite its appeal being hindered by the success of other mafiaso rap albums such as Only Built 4 Cuban Linx (1995) and Reasonable Doubt (1996). However, his stylistic changes and increased mainstream success fostered accusations of selling out within the hip hop community. It Was Written also received mixed criticism for not being on-par with Illmatic, serving as an example of the sophomore slump. Damn, I hate you fucking bandwagon cocksuckers.

    • @sandra

      Let me know when you take nas' rod out your mouth. Way too much "riding" in your comment, especially for someone who doesn't give a damn about you. Lol. When did primo become outdated? If that were true, why would nas promise his fans he'd do an album with him? This album caters to simple minded women. Nas is washed up. Plain and simple. Lyrics are always there, but his albums are boring. And no, I don't listen to pop music. Killah Priest destroyed nas on the song "gun for gun." You, like most women, are clueless when it comes to hip hop. Keep vouching for this tinker bell nonsense. I'll keep listening to real music. Like the "marcberg" album, and others you know nothing about.

    • Tbones

      Cosigneee @Sandra not the 30 year old bleeding anonymous with no life always in his mama's house hating alongside corn chip mega n vakil. lmao

    • Tbones

      Cosigneeee. U hit the nail on the head babes, i guess u r from ur name. U can tell all these peeps are haters and as Nas said hating just might well be confused admiration. They just cant stand him so they harp on bullshit for long until they convince themselves but unfortunately for them Nas keeps going strong. #Niggas fear wat they dont understand/hate wat they cant conquer.

    • Anonymous

      Nas declared himself hip-hop's savior on Illmatic? I need 2 listen 2 the album again, because I don't believe I heard Nas say a damn thing about being hip-hop's savior on that album. The cat above must be a Jay-Z stan. Sell out on the second album? Fuck outta here, son!

    • Anonymous

      Why do you Nas stans always need other rappers to compare him to? Jay never declared himself to be Hip Hop's savior on his debut that will ALWAYS stay true to the game only to sell out on his second album. Nas held to impossible standards? LMAO. He gets waaay too many passes, he's actually overrated as fuck.

  • Anonymous

    I see a lot of people dislike "Summer on smash" i'm yet to hear it but i'm pretty sure CD players have a skip button and i'm sure at least most of you are capable of just not listening to the song if it's so "horrible". if you dislike it, good, dislike it, form a good negative opinion and justify your dislike and then stop wasting your time and start listening to whatever songs you actually like.

  • NV1980

    Nas and Premo album......... This has been talked about for like how many years now... Life is good is garbage maybe three decent songs... People got all excited about nothing for this album really it is not good if you know Nas... Yeah the rhymes are on point. The beat selection is horrible....

    • Anonymous

      Guess im not the only who thinks the beats r wack. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    • Anonymous

      Jg, the beat selection is a very large aspect of an album, as well as the flows and lyricism. It's entirely possible for album to be horrible instrumentally but still a masterpiece for delivery and lyricism. It's also very possible in my opinion for an album to have crazy beats that go wasted by artists not using them to their full potential. When forming an opinion on a song, I like to thoroughly look at every little detail and pick apart the likes and dislikes of the song/album/artist. Maybe I take music too seriously and go a little too deep and should just enjoy the music, but at least I pay attention. I wont listen for the catchy beat, I'll listen for the lyricism and the way it's delivered. If it's accompanied by beats that I personally think are dope as hell, then to me it's great music :)

    • jg

      YOU don't like the beats so the album is horrible?? Fuck off hater, Life Is Good is the hottest album of the year so far. The bar has been set..maybe Rick Ross can top it but GFID will obviously now have the emotional impact of this album

  • ETK

    "the label forced him, yeah right, fuck outta here, you fucking bitch. was there one nas fan in history who was capable of criticism? god damn, what a group of over-sensitive losers." capable of criticism? every god damn thing you guys shit on, you try to pass it on as fact. and don't try to come at me, I'm not that much of a Nas fan & barely heard the album yet. but trust me y'all are no better. obnoxious self-righteous whiners

    • Anonymous

      Nothing wrong with liking an artist, but it should stop at the point where you start to blame somebody else for something that ONLY Nas decided to put on his album. What will he do? Release versions of Life Is Good without Summer On Smash? Like he did with Stillmatic? I thought a true artists stands behind his work.

    • Anonymous

      It's really rare to see someone make valid points and really good comments on this website. It's usually just full of fans belittling artists they don't like and crying when anybody has a different opinion on an artist they do like. So much conflict, not enough acceptance of differing opinion. It's like everyone has to be right in their own mind and fuck what anyone thinks. I on the other hand quite like to see what others think and question their opinions as much as I'd love them to question mine.

  • Nafa

    Summer on smash is the only shit song on the album. My advice do what I did and delete that shit as soon as you get the album. The album becomes a classic after doing that

  • Tbones

    Niggas need to get outside of their mama basement every now and then n enjoy life a lil bit. Swizzy lased a dope as joint for Nasir who in turn kilt both verses exquisitely n Miguel brought it home like its supposed to.

  • Anonymous

    SMH. Because you can't meet the expectations, you bitch ass. Reks >>>>>>>>>>> Nas.

  • wiz

    I love Nas my fav mc bought all his albums and life is good. The album is ok but alota of the beats bore the shit outta me. sadly summer on smash is 1 of the only good beats beside the don nasty and no intro. another then that trash beats

  • Tbones

    SMH @ these simpletons wanting a Premo track whenever Nas drops, wh y'all not forcing Premo on other rap legends? And to those stiffs mad at swizzy n summer on smash, i bet u aint getting no bitches this summer n aint hitting the clubs either, niggas be in their mama basement all day long. LMAO

  • fresh87

    The only reason why "summer on smash" is on the album is because the song is a summer record,since the album was released in the summer,it makes since.The song is not even bad.When i first heard it i thought it was wack,not nas part,but just swizz beats part.But,after a few listens the song is not that bad.

  • zachariah

    I'd prefer a forced premo party joint to the Summer on Smash trash that we you know whose pool you're in? didnt kill the album but is forgiven if you sit it alongside all the bonus cuts, and flows so nicely as a unit besides that one flaw.

  • Anonymous

    It makes sense. Sometimes artists know exactly what they want to do, how they want to do it, and who they feel can make it happen on their album, and for Nas it meant Primo wasn't right for it this time. It's not hard to understand or more meaningful than that. People have to appreciate and pay attention more to the music than production credits and what big names are on there. Nas finally pulled out a halfway decent and consistent album and that's what matters. Rappers don't have to redo everything with their old collaborative partners every damn time for every album just because it's expected. It paid off that Nas had some focus on what he wanted to do and didn't get hung-up on forcing through a Primo collab just because.

  • clark kent

    if this is anything short of ILLMATIC 2 he gonna catch alotta heat.

  • Anonymous

    Premo blessed Luda with a dope records on Theater of the Mind. You telling me Nas couldnt get one Premo jawn? Oh but he can get Hit-boy with that garbage "Another Black Girl Lost" record?

  • Mortis

    Bullshit called. Explain Summer On Smash being on their

  • Anonymous

    Nas didnt even need DJ Premier on this album , its a dope album without him . Premier is dope though i havent heard anything good from him in a while .

  • Anonymous


    • Anonymous

      They have no personal issues, you dumb bitch. They were in the studio and performed together, it's just that Nas is scared of people saying that AZ outshined him for another time.

    • Anonymous

      What if they have personal issues? You ever think about that?

  • 1.0

    nas aint calling primo next album either. preem is like the ex girlfriend that been telling her friends she getting back together with nas but nas never coming back. primo is on the rocks somewhere washed up with bottles and sea weed looking for nas. damn.

  • Anonymous

    Nas wanted that commercial album, he was aiming for a commercial audience this time. Premo doesnt fit that, he has that raw sound.

  • Din

    Premo makes cool little beats but he just wouldn't fit on this album...His tracks don't have a lot of meat on them, they're usually just cut up soul loops with lyrics from other songs scratched into the hook....It wouldn't make sense. Summer on smash doesnt really fit either but the label makes you put one or songs like that on there, so it made sense.

    • Anonymous

      the label forced him, yeah right, fuck outta here, you fucking bitch. was there one nas fan in history who was capable of criticism? god damn, what a group of over-sensitive losers.

    • Anonymous

      Explain this "label makes you" bullshit... "Summer on Smash" is fucking horrific and you'd like to think someone 'forced' Nasir but... Is that song a single? Is it being played anywhere? Does anyone, even some drunk retard "in da' club" like it more than, say, Florida?

  • Anonymous

    Seriously NaS just make your fans happy and make a collab album with Premo and AZ. Feature some of the old legends if you can like Big Daddy Kane or Rakim. Also Bad Meets Evil x Nas x AZ would be absolutely insane.

  • KDot

    Summer on Smash...I skip that sh** every chance I get.

  • Anonymous

    summer on my smash is my jam.nice production by swizz

  • thought dog

    Youll see a Nas album with Premier production the same day that Detox drops.

  • Lumbuhh

    I bet "Summer on Smash" would've been awesome had it been Primo produced. I think Nas should've challenged Premier to create a sound that he felt would fit into the album. Regardless, it is a great album.

  • Anonymous

    Swizz fucked up that album.It's an excellent album but that track is like a herpes sore on the CD..Leave it to Nas to put that garbage over a Preemo joint.I can't be mad though because it's Nas's greatest work in years..

  • Anonymous

    Yeah.. EVERYONE feels "summer on smash" is totally out of place

  • Anonymous

    fuck that shit, cant believe homie chose swizz beatz over primo

  • Anonymous

    "he felt that every song on Life is Good needed to fit the overall theme" Dafuq ya doin puttin summer on smash on there then?

    • SOS

      It fit the overall concept of the album. It just didn't fit with the sound. I still think that song was pretty good. With the exception of his work with DMX, I HATE Swizz Beatz. lol

    • Anonymous

      It still fits the theme, even if the track isn't the best. Summer On Smash - Life Is Good, how does it not fit the theme?

    • uncsam

      Lol, my first thought when I read that.

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