Nas tenth studio album 'Life is Good'

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and narrative to pull that off? Then there’s his enormous capacity to heal. The late singer Amy Winehouse, who so publicly battled addiction and probably loneliness, sings tenderly about -- of all things -- finding her soul mate. And on 'Daughters' his critical self-reflection crescendos: How’s his daughter’s irresponsible behavior influenced by his own?

This is Nas now: accountable, regal, imperfect, exhilarating, honest, legendary. Then again, that was Nas, then, too.