Song of the Day #1,880: ‘Life’s a Bitch’ – Nas

nas_illmaticMy second Nas track also comes from his debut album, Illmatic, and it’s the one song that showed up on all five of the “Best Nas Songs” websites I looked at to generate this week’s song list.

So according to my very unscientific poll, I should expect this to be the very best Nas song of all. Talk about pressure.

My first impression from reading the lyrics is that it’s interesting Nas’s “best song” is dominated early on by this AZ fellow. I’ve never heard of AZ. Maybe I’ll be posting five of his songs next week (don’t worry, rap haters… I won’t).

AZ is pretty well-spoken for a guy whose main interests — at least in this song — are “clothes, bankrolls and hos.” I particularly like his use of the phrase “Others such as myself…”

Nas’s verse is fine, but I am looking forward to future albums when I hope he turns his attention away from this subject matter to something more thought-provoking.

OK, gave it a listen… mostly unimpressed. This one is a little more musically interesting than yesterday’s selection (I particularly like the horn at the end) but still pretty bland. Am I missing something?

Ayo what’s up what’s up let’s keep it real son (AZ)
Count this money, you know what I’m saying?
Yeah yeah (Nas)
Ayo put the Grants over there in the safe you know what I’m sayin’
Cause we spendin’ these Jacksons
The Washingtons go to wifey, you know how that go
I’m saying, that’s what this is all about right?
Clothes, bankrolls, and hos you know what I’m saying?
Yo then what man, what? (Nas)

[Verse 1: AZ]
Visualizing the realism of life and actuality
Fuck who’s the baddest, a person’s status depends on salary
And my mentality is money-orientated
I’m destined to live the dream for all my peeps who never made it
Cause yeah, we were beginners in the hood as 5 percenters
But something must of got in us cause all of us turned to sinners
Now some resting in peace and some are sitting in San Quentin
Others such as myself are trying to carry on tradition
Keeping this Schefervescent street ghetto essence inside us
Cause it provides us with the proper insight to guide us
Even though, we know somehow we all gotta go
But as long as we leaving thieving, we’ll be leaving with some kind of dough
So, until that day we expire and turn to vapors
Me and my capers will be somewhere else stacking plenty papers
Keeping it real, packing steel, getting high
Cause life’s a bitch and then you die

[Hook: AZ]
Life’s a bitch and then you die
That’s why we get high
Cause you never know when you’re gonna go
Life’s a bitch and then you die
That’s why we puff lye
Cause you never know when you’re gonna go

[Verse 2: Nas]
I woke up early on my born day, I’m 20, it’s a blessing
The essence of adolescence leaves my body, now I’m fresh and
My physical frame is celebrated cause I made it
One quarter through life some Godly-like thing created
Got rhymes 365 days annual plus some
Load up the mic and bust one, cuss while I puffs from
My skull cause it’s pain in my brain vein, money maintain
Don’t go against the grain, simple and plain
When I was young, at this I used to do my thing hard
Robbing foreigners, take their wallets, their jewels, and rip their green cards
Dipped to the projects flashing my quick cash and
Got my first piece of ass smoking blunts with hash
Now it’s all about cash in abundance
Niggas I used to run with is rich or doing years in the hundreds
I switched my motto; instead of saying “fuck tomorrow”
That buck that bought a bottle could’ve struck the lotto
Once I stood on the block, loose cracks produce stacks
I cooked up and cut small pieces to get my loot back
Time is Illmatic, keep static like wool fabric
Pack a 4-matic that crack your whole cabbage



One thought on “Song of the Day #1,880: ‘Life’s a Bitch’ – Nas

  1. Dana says:

    Well, on my first listen, I have a similar reaction as you did. Good, but not great or earth shattering. I still think that, for me, the voice, whether in singing or rap form, needs to be unique. Like Jay Z, I don’t hear anything in Nas’ work that distinguishes him from the crowd.

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