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Nas, Karlie Hustle: Countdown to ‘Life Is Good’ Album — Day 4

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On day four of our Nas Life Is Good countdown, The BoomBox speaks with Karlie Hustle, music director of New York City radio station Hot 97. In addition to being the station’s assistant program director, Hustle is clear on what it takes to get radio spins. As a staunch hip-hop fan, she definitely knows
what a great Nas album sounds like.

Hustle’s 12-year career in radio signifies her talent for recognizing a phenomenal track and having the ability to gauge what the streets are craving. She’s worked on-air in Santa Cruz, Calif., and San Diego, Calif., but she spent six years in Phoenix, Ariz., as the assistant program director for Power 98.3.

In 2011, Hot 97 asked her to join their staff and she hit the ground running in New York City. As a fan of music first, Hustle breaks down what Nas’ upcoming LP means for hip-hop and what his recent Hot 97 Summer Jam performance proved to the masses.

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Karlie Hustle’s Countdown

to Nas’ Life Is Good Album

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“I can only speak for Hot 97, and we as a station have responded with substantial support for this new Nas project. Every single released thus far, from ‘The Don’ to ‘Daughters’ to ‘Accident Murderers’ has received spins. Heads in the building were excited to hear the Nas featuring Large Professor ‘Loco-Motive’ joint drop on the blogs.

As far as I’m concerned, there is no difference in the anticipation for ‘Life Is Good’ as compared to previous albums. I don’t know a true hip-hop fan alive that doesn’t get amped when Nas drops a project, period. I will say that the climate is right for a solid lyrical album to hit the streets. Popular music ebbs and flows, but I think a lot of fans want a true beats and rhymes hip-hop experience right now. If anyone can deliver on this, it’s Nas.

Anything that’s real is a good idea. Nas’ willingness to express his human experience openly in this way is both relatable and beautiful. I don’t think there’s anything dramatic about honesty. If there’s anticipation due to his openness on this project, it likely has less to do with drama and more to do with the fact that people really want to know Nas the person more intimately. He’s traditionally been pretty private about personal matters, and allowing us inside his world on a more tangible human level is exciting.

Nas seems very comfortable in his own skin. That was demonstrated on the Summer
Jam stage [this summer] and is also clear to me through his new music. He’s learned a lot through love and loss and I think as fans of his, we’re all benefitting from the wisdom
that comes with that growth. He’s always been a consummate storyteller. I’m excited for
this next chapter and those that are sure to follow.”


See Nas in 10 Outrageous Hip-Hop & R&B Weddings

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