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Creator and Artist Stories

Music Tuesday: Nas, Beirut and more

By Sarah Bardeen

Music Community Manager

The music keeps on coming! Over the weekend Pitchfork streamed their music festival on YouTube -- head to their channel to see some live clips from the show. We also featured some fun videos -- one of a guy playing a bicycle handlebar (cool), one about a daydream that comes true, and Jack White’s surprising new video, which was directed by none other than Hype Williams. We’ve got lots coming this week, but we’re most excited by far to welcome Matisyahu to YouTube Presents on Friday. Got a question for him? Now’s the time to ask it. Wonder who else is going to appear? Subscribe to the channel.

Nas’ “Life is Good” playlist

In 1994, a young rapper named Nasir Jones almost single-handedly resuscitated hip-hop lyricism with his debut album Illmatic. Here was a rapper who told stories. Nas has never strayed far from his reputation as hip-hop’s lyricist, and his 10th studio album, Life Is Good, is being universally hailed as a mature masterpiece which keeps the immediacy of his ghetto imagery and leavens it with a decent dose of wisdom. (“Daughters” finds the rapper worrying about his daughter’s dating life.) It’s a hopeful record, which is why the man himself joins us today with a “Life is Good” playlist.

Incoming: MS MR

This indie band is still developing, but for a young band, MS MR have a seriously strong video aesthetic, as their own work demonstrates. Today they unload an epic playlist of their inspirations, and it’s a doozy -- every video is worth your undivided attention, if you can give it.

Beirut: Santa Fe

In the past few weeks, Beirut has been quietly (okay, not SO quietly) releasing a trove of music videos for their latest album The Rip Tide. To date, two of them have been directed by Sunset Television, a directors collective based in, of course, Williamsburg in Brooklyn. While what they do looks like found footage (think found footage pioneers like Everything Is Terrible), it’s actually not: these folks make their own videos and do their best to make them seem like garage-sale VHS finds. It’s a fascinating project, and it’s led to a regular comedy series with Pitchfork. Now, we had a hard time picking our favorite, but “Santa Fe,” with its Italian cinema mouth-feel, came out on top.