— — — Marvin Gaye’s classic 1978 album Here, My Dear was famously inspired by his contentious divorce and much of the subject matter was very obviously directed at his ex-wife. Thirty-four years later, rapper Nas compares his upcoming Life is Good to that bitter and personal record from a generation ago.
“I thought Here, My Dear was brave, beautiful, honest, scary and daring. I remember putting several artists on to it, from Maxwell to Jay-Z,” he recalled. “I couldn’t imagine what Marvin was going through when he was recording it. And I couldn’t imagine me being in a similar position, years later…when I started working on the record, I tried to avoid [getting too personal]. The timing was just calling for me to not avoid all the shit that was going on out there. It was like a 10,000-ton gorilla in the room watching me. This is the way I got it off of my chest. This album talks about life, love and money. It talks about the fact that marriage is expensive. Life Is Good represents the most beautiful, dramatic and heavy moments in my life.”
“When I sat down with [producers] No I.D. and Salaam [Remi] and originally told them what I wanted to do, we felt like we were waking up a certain fan that doesn’t buy rap anymore,” he said. “Our goal on the album was to just do what’s real. No I.D. has been married twice. Swizz [Beatz] has also been married twice and has gone through baby-mama drama. So the conversation between all of us was great.”