Life's a Bitch (song)


Life's a Bitch (song)

Infobox Single
Name = Life's a Bitch


Artist = Nas featuring AZ & Olu Dara
from Album = Illmatic
Released = April 19 1994
Format = 12" single
Recorded = 1993
Genre = East Coast hip hop
Length = 3:29
Label = Columbia
Writer = Nasir Jones
Anthony Cruz
Olu Dara
Ronnie Wilson
Oliver Scott
Producer = L.E.S.
Chart position =
[ Reviews = ] *
Last single = "The World Is Yours"
(1994)
This single = "Life's a Bitch"
(1994)
Next single = "One Love"
(1994)
Misc = Extra tracklisting
Album = Illmatic
Type = Studio
prev_track = "N.Y. State of Mind"
prev_no = 2
this_track = "Life's a Bitch"
track_no = 3
next_track = "The World Is Yours"
next_no = 4

"Life's a Bitch" is the fourth single from Nas' debut album "Illmatic". It was released as a 12" single on April 19 1994 by Columbia Records. It features rapping from AZ and cornet playing by Nas' father Olu Dara. It is produced by L.E.S., who samples "Yearning for Your Love" by The Gap Band and "Black Frost" by Grover Washington Jr. for the songs down-tempo jazzy beat. AZ's verse was the first recorded verse of his rap career and gave him much positive attention. Because of his verse on "Life's A Bitch", his debut album ("Doe or Die") was anticipated much like how Nas' verse on "Live at the BBQ" raised expectations for "Illmatic". "Life's a Bitch" was the first of several Nas/AZ collaborations such as "Mo Money, Mo Murder", "The Essence" and "The Flyest". Lyrics from AZ's verse on "Life's a Bitch" are sampled on "Keep It Real" by Milkbone.

Overview

Music

Olu Dara's cornet work was the first on-wax collaboration with his son. "Jungle Jay" and "Dance" eventually followed, as did the 2004 single "Bridging The Gap". According to Nas:

Lyricism

This single is unanimously seen as a classic by thousands of fans because of its laid-back and jazzy beat and because of the complex lyricism displayed throughout the track. AZ's verse is highly dense and discusses his intentions to "carry on tradition" of those who paved the way for him, how society is governed by the wealthy, and the close relationship between money and power. Nas's verse discusses how he is happy to be alive at 20 years old, his rough childhood, consisting of "robbing foreigners" of their green cards, and selling crack. However, the tone of his words suggest that he is reflecting rather than glorifying his deeds, and now has a more positive outlook on life. In the years since the release of "Illmatic", many listeners still engage in debates over which verse is better. Although many seem to agree that AZ's verse was more lyrically complex, they simultaneously laud Nas's verse as one of his best, not only on "Illmatic" but throughout his whole career.

Thematic continuation

The song's title and concept was later mentioned in Nas' verse on the collaboration track "Affirmative Action" off his 1996 album "It Was Written" in which Nas raps "Life's a bitch but god-forbid the bitch divorce me". This track also featured AZ along with fellow Queensbridge rapper [Cormega] and Park Slope. Affirmative Action also featured Brooklyn female rapper Foxy Brown.

Track listing

A-side

# "Life's a Bitch (Radio)" (3:37)
# "Life's a Bitch (Dirty)" (3:29)
# "Life's a Bitch (Instrumental)" (3:29)

B-side

# "Life's a Bitch (Arsenal Radio Mix)" (3:31)
# "Life's a Bitch (Arsenal Dirty Mix)" (3:31)
# "Life's a Bitch (Arsenal Instrumental Mix)" (3:35)

References


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