#30thAnniversary – Nas “Illmatic”

“Illmatic”, the greatest Rap album ever created.

There’s not many albums in the rich history of Hip Hop that can hold this title. You can always argue that ATCQ “The Low End Theory” & “Midnight Marauders” or Wu-Tang “Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)” are LP’s that we’re close or even better than this debut from Nas, but most Hip Hop heads can agree that this is the special one. To have a young poet on that level coming out of the Queensbridge Projects feels almost surreal, especially that all those lyrics were written when he was still a teenager. The smooth delivery of his poetry is also unmatched, flowing with ease and dexterity over every track of the LP. To match Nasir Jones’ prowess on the mic, the beats are handled by the best producers the East coast had to offer at the time. A dream team was assembled consisting of Large Pro, DJ Premier, Q-Tip and Pete Rock, while Nas’ childhood friend L.E.S. gets a placement for “Life’s a Bitch”, the only track that features another emcee, a Brooklyn born lyricist named AZ.

Nas was not a newcomer when he put out “Illmatic”, his appearances on Main Source’s “Live at the Barbecue” from the “Breaking Atoms” LP, MC Serch’s “Back to the Grill” from 1992 “Return Of The Product” or the release of “Halftime” on the Zebrahead soundtrack already generated some crazy hype. But the masterpiece that he created managed to exceed everyone’s expectations, a magnum opus that stood the test of time and… possibly became the greatest rap album ever created.

What you have below is all you need to get immersed in this all time classic; a playlist with videos, remixes, b-sides, live performances, interviews, album release press kit and freestyles + a dope mix created by Chris Read for the 25th Anniversary. You can also take a listen at the samples used to create this gem on www.whosampled.com. Enjoy!

Album on YouTube:

Stream on Spotify & Apple Music.

Videos, Remixes, B-Sides, Live Performances, Interviews & More:

  • Halftime
  • It Ain’t Hard To Tell
  • One Love
  • The World Is Yours
  • The World Is Yours (Re-Mix Version)
  • The World Is Yours (Tip Mix)
  • Half Time (Butcher Remix)
  • It Ain’t Hard To Tell (The Stink Mix)
  • It Ain’t Hard To Tell (The Laidback Remix)
  • It Ain’t Hard To Tell (The Remix)
  • Life’s A Bitch (Arsenal Mix)
  • One Love (LG Main Mix)
  • One Love (One L Main Mix)

‘Illmatic’ 25th Anniversary Mixtape mixed by Chris Read:

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