Def Jam

(The Root) — Rapper Nas brings the heat with his latest album, Life is Good, an ode to the rawness and realism that have made him a household hip-hop name. The CD, which features a few singles that have already garnered a bit of radio airplay, includes an impressive lineup of guests, such as Mary J. Blige, Anthony Hamilton, Swizz Beatz, Miguel and the late Amy Winehouse, who was a friend of the rapper.

Not one to shed his provocative ways, Nas drapes the mint-green wedding dress of former wife Kelis over his right leg on the album's cover. When asked to explain the meaning behind the prop, he laughingly told the Guardian, "I found it in my house and thought, 'It's going somewhere! Either on the cover of my album, or burning in a garbage can.' " But the pain of a blundered marriage is a very real motif on Life Is Good.


The recording also features the controversial song "Daughters," on which Nas describes the trials of celebrity fatherhood and his struggles handling his daughter's indiscreet online activities. (Watch the video below.)

Nas' Life Is Good is now available at retailers and online.

Previous recommendation: Hip-Hop Lecture Series Now Online.

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