With Nas’ eleventh studio album, Life Is Good, now well over a year behind him, the Queens rapper is currently at work crafting his next LP. While speaking with the Huffington Post, Nas spoke on the process of creating his next project and how it compares to last year’s Life Is Good.
According to the Queensbridge emcee, Life Is Good served as an aid for all the other projects released last year while his next album will hopefully foster new ideas and inspirations.
“With Life Is Good it felt like Hip Hop needed an album to help steer the direction of the sound and the rest of the albums that were coming out that year,” Nas said. “Or to re-encourage the ones that were working to say, ‘It’s ok to make a Hip Hop album.’ And that was my goal with that. And I think I accomplished that. I think after that I saw a nice sharp turn for the better in rap albums. So that mission is completed.
“With this record, ah man…It’s the next chapter in myself as a writer,” he added. “I’m really excited about every new leaf I turn. Every new endeavor. I’m excited about that and all the potential that comes with everything new that I do. And all my ideas can come to fruition. And that excites me, because there’s no limits to what I can do, in terms of trying to be an inspiration. I just want to do well for the listeners out there. Do well for the whole genre. So I’m excited.”
Nas’ next studio album is currently without a title, and although the rapper came close to announcing a name for the LP, he says he was unsure if it was a good fit for the project.
“I got a little busy, and I wasn’t sure it was really a real fit for the record,” Nas said when asked why he hasn’t unveiled the album’s title. “It felt like I came up with it too easy. And I like that because Life Is Good came up on its own. It just popped in my head. So the next title came up in a similar way, but it was probably too early.”
On top of the release of a possible twelfth studio album, next year will also mark the twentieth anniversary of Nas’ debut album, Illmatic. In celebration of the anniversary of the project, the 40-year-old rapper says he’ll likely celebrate the occasion with a concert and a possible repackaged version of Illmatic.
“We’re putting together a concert," he said. "And I think we’re going to do something with the album and repackage it with special stuff. I think that’s in the works."
Released in 1994, Illmatic features 10 tracks produced by some of the genre’s most renowned beatsmiths, including Large Professor, DJ Premier and Q-Tip. Nas reminisced on his debut album during an interview with VEVO last year, commenting on the grunge-heavy sound featured on the Illmatic track, “Halftime.”
“It was early '90s, so the music was just grunge,” Nas said. “Just dirty, dusty, alleyway kind of sound. That’s the kind of music that the rap music that I was liking around that time. So when I heard the track for ‘Halftime,’ I knew that would be something good for the time.”