This track features the late Amy Winehouse and is the pair's second posthumous collaboration to be released following Nas' contribution to the British songstress' "Like Smoke
," from her Lioness: Hidden Treasures
album. "It's a bittersweet feeling to do something with her now that she's not here," Nas said about the song. "I'm happy… the sweet part is that we do have the music, fans have new music from her. The bitter part is that she's no longer here to really give it to us and to really live her music and for us to see her smile and hear her voice."
The song was produced by Salaam Remi, who worked on Winehouse's Frank and Back to Black sets. A mutual friend of both artists, Remi introduced Nas to Amy.
Speaking to NME, Nas said the track came from "God, and Amy." He added: "We don't even have an explanation for how it happened. It was just magic. It just happened. It was supposed to happen. She made it happen."
Nas pulled his Life Is Good album title from this song. "When I started working on the record, I tried to avoid it," the Queens rapper told Billboard magazine regarding the personal tone of the set, which includes glimpses of his failed marriage to Kelis, followed by redemption. "The timing was just calling for me to not avoid all the s--t that was going on out there. It was like a 10,000-ton gorilla in the room watching me. This is the way I got it off of my chest. This album talks about life, love and money. It talks about the fact that marriage is expensive. Life Is Good represents the most beautiful, dramatic and heavy moments in my life."
So why 'Life Is Good'? Nas explained the thinking behind the album title to MTV News: "A couple of years ago, I just started to really appreciate the opportunities that I've had, the places that I've traveled and the people I met and just the life that God gave me. So I felt like 'life is good' was a positive message that we should just say to each other during such challenging times. Just have to remember the important things, you know?"
Life Is Good debuted at #1 on the Billboard album chart with first week sales of 149,000. It was Nas' sixth chart-topping album.
The song was titled after Winehouse's guitar, which she called "cherry," according to the Frank track of that name.
The Jay Martin-directed music video features Nas as a bartender watching his fantasy girl being courted by several men. We also see Amy Winehouse as haunting projections of the late songstess performing the track appear on the brick wall of the bar room.