I am pleasantly surprised that it’s already 20 years since the April 19,1994 release of Nas’ debut album Illmatic. This album established Nas as a permanent feature of HipHop Hall of Fame and the acclaim has not died 20 years since. I was fresh out of primary school when the album dropped. Then I would mumbled to the radio as brother of mine play Raekwon, Eric B. & Rakim, Kool G Rap, Big Daddy Kane and other veterans. Then the album dropped and it redefined the way we listen to rap.
As Nas celebrates the 20th anniversary of the album that launched him to stardom, I realize how much I still love it. represents the best that hip-hop can be. At itsmusiccafe, we are glad Nas is getting the respect he deserves and that people are realizing how "Illmatic" changed hip hop. And I am glad "IIImatic" came out before the internet, trolls, fake and dick riding hip hop journalists, fake fans, too many fake rappers and people equating a rapper's money to being he's best rapper.
Ten tracks. Every one of them a classic, there was no dead weight. It was one of those rare records that remains perfect through each play through, for many of us at the very least, and it made the notion that Hip Hop could be poetry seem like a sane notion.
An album that received widespread acceptance, even when most of the mainstream media treated rap like garbage. Everyone has an opinion on Illmatic and everyone has heard much of the album in its entirety, even if they never had the record themselves, but that’s okay because the album was not made for them. It was made for us, for the fans, for the folks who would listen to the words under a fine toothcomb to make the album reveal its secrets.
Released: April 19, 1994
Recorded: 1992–93; Battery Studios, Unique Studios, Chung King Studios, D&D Recording; New York City
Genre: Hip hop
Producer: DJ Premier, Large Professor,L.E.S., MC Serch (exec.), Pete Rock,Q-Tip