Nas – Cherry Wine

Remember when Nas was just a baby MC? Illmatic was released almost 20 years ago, and here he comes again with a flow you can’t deny. Nas has been ranked as high as #4 on lists of the greatest MCs, and his new album, Life is Good is an exercise in emotional recovery and acceptance.

Cherry Wine is simple and smooth with a steady kick drum and the occasional saxophone. Echoes from Amy Winehouse come through, finding a place both haunting and uplifting. The two spend the track in a tagteam of loneliness and reassurance.

Where is he?
The man who was just like me
Heard he was hiding somewhere I can’t see
And I’m alone, and I realize that when I get home
I wanna go through my red and my cherry

I hate when people write me hostile texts on the count of my lifestyle’s perception
Invade my personal life, out of the question, what are they expecting
I be tryna reply them, and they never suppose I get my quiet time in
They think forever I’m rolling in dough, swimming in a pool of cash
God, wouldn’t they know, or am I a fool or as
I’m well known, got people coming at me mad
I had a tell homes, I don’t keep a cell phone
My bad, I drag, off the l and try to silence it
The noise of my head, the curse of the talented
Strong communicator, vagabond, I gallivant around the equator
And that would get me off the radar.”

Nas takes a moment as the track winds down to remind himself that “no matter what, life is good.” The album itself is an exercise in self-realization and confirmation. I’m two hours into a 10-hour train ride right now, and Nas’ personal affirmations are pulling me along with persistent dependability. Give Cherry Wine a listen and go for a ride.

Nas – Cherry Wine


Kevin Casey’s Sample Saturday – Les Brown et Amy Winehouse

It’s hard not to notice the difference in Amy Winehouse’s appearance on the cover of her 2003 album Frank in comparison to the latest images released of her during her final attempt at a tour earlier this year.  Her untimely death was as equally sad as it was unsurprising.  A fight against substance abuse is a battle often belittled, but the unfortunate reality is this fight has been lost by so many of music’s greatest minds.  And yes, I look at Amy on that level.  In an industry of so many cloned artists Amy Winehouse paved her own way through superior talent and unique style, both things for which I will remember her by.  Frank and Back In Black are offspring that will Live On, Live Long.

Amy Winehouse – Help Yourself

Les Brown feat. Doris Day – You Won’t Be Satisfied

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