Earlier in the year, Nas teased the announcement of his 12th album title but never followed through because the timing wasn't right, he now explains. "I got a little busy, and I wasn’t sure it was really a real fit for the record," he said in an interview with the Huffington Post. "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."
With Life Is Good, the Queens MC's 11th album and last under Def Jam, Nas had moved past a tumultuous divorce to return with a collage of potent rap cuts produced heavily by Salaam Remi and No I.D. The new project however is much different. "With this record, ah man … It’s the next chapter in myself as a writer," Nas continued. "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."
Falling in line with his excitement is the Timbaland-produced "Sinatra in the Sands," featuring Jay Z and Justin Timberlake, but one song not on the upcoming project is a collaboration between God's Son and Mariah Carey. The two were photographed in the studio with Jermaine Dupri crafting "a banger" for the singer's album. "She’s on another level," the "Daughters" rhymer said of Carey. "Just working with an artist that big really shows me how much further I can go. I’ve been inspired just sitting there talking to her. She’s very smart and extremely talented. And I’m just happy to work with her again."
Also on deck for the father of two is further extending his brand. Having already teamed with Hennessey, Nas is now prepping a new fashion line, HSTRY, for which he picked everything from fabrics to designs. "It’s a collaborative effort between me and Grungy Gentleman. So what you’ve been seeing from HSTRY is not 100 percent HSTRY. It’s half HSTRY, half Grungy Gentleman. That was the way we launched it on that level. But the spring collection is the next thing. We’re going to have some cool pieces this winter. But next spring is where my head is at, which will be 100 percent HSTRY," he added of the line.
Asked of the future he sees in fashion after the ill-fated William Esqo Line, and Nas emphasized three main points, saying, "Just a great look, comfort and quality. My thing spans from my '90s wear, where it’s all military, it’s all fatigue-style stuff, but just make it higher end and current. And also, the athletic styles of that time. Without revealing all my secrets, I have a wide range of ideas for HSTRY.
"It’s just unstoppable with all the directions I have for this thing," he added. "I’m excited to get that off the ground, and we’re just starting. It looks like 2014 is going to be another big year for me."
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