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.