Nas is a complex soul, but his career has been a rollercoaster, both professionally and personally. When his life was going through a difficult moment following his divorce, the rapper found himself turning to Marvin Gaye for consolation.
In 2005, Nas married Kelis in Atlanta after being together for two years. However, their relationship collapsed after four years, and their divorce was finalised in 2010. In the time since they split, they have shared accusations about each other’s behaviour, and it has been an extremely messy situation.
This was understandably hard for both parties to deal with, and Nas found himself seeking comfort in music. Marvin Gaye was his poison of choice, and he felt a deep connection to his 1984 album, Here, My Dear, which was also written in the midst of divorce.
Gaye had divorced his first wife in 1977, Anna Gordy, with who he had been married for over 15 years. At the time, it wasn’t a commercially successful project, but in recent years it has been reassessed, and it was a passion project which Gaye had a desperate need to make.
In 2012, Nas named it one of his favourite albums to Complex and explained why he relates to it. “When I first heard it, no one I knew ever heard it. It’s funny that so many people love Marvin Gaye but never knew about this album that was so personal. It’s crazy how my new record has a little bit of that. Motown only put out limited copies and it was a risky record. I think the music industry wanted a more hitting album but that record he did was his expression. I’m sure he caught a lot of slack from it.
“I feel like I’m in the same place that he was at when he made that album [because he was getting divorced and I’m getting divorced]. I feel like Life Is Good is my Here, My Dear. They’re similar in a lot of ways. I relate to him as a human being, as a star.”
He continued: “It made me like him a lot more because he was an artist enough to just say what he had to say. I like when he’s talking about Anna Gordy, who he was married to. I know what that’s like. I know what he’s singing. I’ve lived it myself. I really relate to that record.”
Listen to the album below.