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Real Talk: The 12 Best Albums Of 2012

By 12.30.12

Nas – Life Is Good

At its core, Life Is Good is a complex character study of Nas’ current condition. He’s no longer a wise-beyond-his years stick-up kid, but a father with a teen of his own (“Daughters”); he’s coming off a bitter divorce from ex-wife Kelis (“Bye Baby,” “Roses”) and he’s steadily uncomfortable with being one of the few familiar faces in his tax bracket. These are interesting issues to wrestle with at face value, and Nas made sure to do them justice, delivering consistently inspired performances on the mic. Behind the boards, Salaam Remi and No I.D. were there conducting the project, assuring that weak production wouldn’t threaten to run the whole thing off the rails. (Buy)

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