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Encyclopedia > Illmatic
Illmatic
Illmatic cover
Studio album by Nas
Released April 19, 1994
Recorded Power Play Studios, New York; 1992–1993
Genre East Coast hip hop, hardcore hip hop
Length 39:43
Label Columbia
Producer MC Serch (exec.), Pete Rock, L.E.S., Q-Tip, DJ Premier, Large Professor
Professional reviews
Nas chronology
Illmatic
(1994)
It Was Written
(1996)
Singles from Illmatic
  1. "Halftime"
    Released: 1992
  2. "It Ain't Hard to Tell"
    Released: January 18, 1994
  3. "The World Is Yours"
    Released: May 31, 1994
  4. "Life's a Bitch"
    Released: April 19, 1994
  5. "One Love"
    Released: October 25, 1994

Illmatic is the debut album by rapper Nas, released on April 19, 1994 through Columbia Records, and featuring production from Large Professor (of Main Source), Pete Rock (of Pete Rock & CL Smooth), Q-Tip (of A Tribe Called Quest) and DJ Premier (of Gang Starr), as well as a guest appearance from AZ. Nas Illmatic album cover This is an album cover. ... A studio album is a collection of studio-recorded tracks by a recording artist. ... For other uses, see Nas (disambiguation). ... is the 109th day of the year (110th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1994 (MCMXCIV) The year 1994 was designated as the International Year of the Family and the International Year of the Sport and the Olympic Ideal by the United Nations. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... East Coast hip hop is a style of hip hop music that originated in New York City during the early-1970s. ... Hardcore hip hop is a form of hip hop music characterized by confrontation and aggression in its subject matter, heavy beats, raw sampling and production, or any combination thereof. ... In the music industry, a record label can be a brand and a trademark associated with the marketing of music recordings and music videos. ... In the music industry, a record producer (or music producer) has many roles, among them controlling the recording sessions, coaching and guiding the musicians, organizing and scheduling production budget and resources, and supervising the recording, mixing and mastering processes. ... MC Serch (born Michael Berrin on May 6, 1967) is a Jewish-American hip hop MC and former member of 3rd Bass. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Pete Rock (born Peter Phillips, June 21, 1970[1] in Bronx, New York) is an American hip hop DJ, producer and rapper. ... L.E.S. (born Leshan David Lewis) is a hip hop prodcer commonly associated with Nas. ... Q-Tip (born Jonathan Davis in Brooklyn, New York), USA, is a North American hip-hop emcee, actor, and hip hop producer who was the leader of the critically acclaimed group A Tribe Called Quest. ... This biographical article or section needs additional references for verification. ... William Paul Mitchell (born March 21, 1972 in Flushing, Queens, New York), best known as Large Professor, also as Large Pro and the Extra P, is a New York based hip hop record producer and MC. He is best known as a member of the influential underground hip hop group... The All Music Guide (AMG) is a large, comprehensive and high quality metadata database about music. ... Image File history File links 5_stars. ... Blender is an American magazine that bills itself as the ultimate guide to music and more. ... Image File history File links 5_stars. ... This article is about the magazine. ... Image File history File links 4_stars. ... The Rolling Stone Album Guide, previously known as The Rolling Stone Record Guide, is a book that, along with its sister publication Rolling Stone magazine, contains professional reviews of popular music. ... Image File history File links 5_stars. ... The Source is a United States-based, monthly full-color magazine covering hip-hop music, politics, and culture, founded in 1988. ... Image File history File links 5_stars. ... Steve Flash Juon is an American journalist and web master who writes about hip-hop music and culture. ... Image File history File links Stars10100. ... A 2005 cover of XXL, featuring Snoop Dogg and The Game. ... Image File history File links 5_stars. ... For other uses, see Nas (disambiguation). ... It Was Written is the second album by Queensbridge rapper Nas. ... A collection of various CD singles In music, a single is a short recording of one or more separate tracks. ... For other uses, see Half time (disambiguation). ... It Aint Hard To Tell is a 1994 hip hop single by Nas. ... is the 18th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1994 (MCMXCIV) The year 1994 was designated as the International Year of the Family and the International Year of the Sport and the Olympic Ideal by the United Nations. ... Nas in The World Is Yours music video The World Is Yours is a 1994 single by Nas, from his debut album, Illmatic. ... is the 151st day of the year (152nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1994 (MCMXCIV) The year 1994 was designated as the International Year of the Family and the International Year of the Sport and the Olympic Ideal by the United Nations. ... For other uses, see Lifes a Bitch. ... is the 109th day of the year (110th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1994 (MCMXCIV) The year 1994 was designated as the International Year of the Family and the International Year of the Sport and the Olympic Ideal by the United Nations. ... One Love is a single by rapper Nas from his seminal album, Illmatic. ... is the 298th day of the year (299th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1994 (MCMXCIV) The year 1994 was designated as the International Year of the Family and the International Year of the Sport and the Olympic Ideal by the United Nations. ... Rapping is one of the elements of hip hop and the distinguishing feature of hip hop music; it is a form of rhyming lyrics spoken rhythmically over musical instruments, with a musical backdrop of sampling, scratching and mixing by DJs. ... For other uses, see Nas (disambiguation). ... is the 109th day of the year (110th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1994 (MCMXCIV) The year 1994 was designated as the International Year of the Family and the International Year of the Sport and the Olympic Ideal by the United Nations. ... Columbia Records is the oldest brand name in recorded sound, dating back to 1888, and was the first record company to produce pre-recorded records as opposed to blank cylinders. ... William Paul Mitchell (born March 21, 1972 in Flushing, Queens, New York), best known as Large Professor, also as Large Pro and the Extra P, is a New York based hip hop record producer and MC. He is best known as a member of the influential underground hip hop group... Main Source was an innovative, acclaimed Toronto and New York-based hip hop group comprised of Toronto natives Sir Scratch, K-Cut, and Queens native Large Professor. ... Pete Rock (born Peter Phillips, June 21, 1970[1] in Bronx, New York) is an American hip hop DJ, producer and rapper. ... Pete Rock & CL Smooth is a rap group from the 1990s. ... Q-Tip (born Jonathan Davis in Brooklyn, New York), USA, is a North American hip-hop emcee, actor, and hip hop producer who was the leader of the critically acclaimed group A Tribe Called Quest. ... A Tribe Called Quest is a critically acclaimed and highly-influential American hip-hop group, formed in 1988. ... This biographical article or section needs additional references for verification. ... Gang Starr is an influential hip hop group that consists of Guru and DJ Premier from Brooklyn, New York. ... Anthony Cruz (born March 9, 1972 in Brownsville, Brooklyn, New York), better known as AZ, is an American rapper currently residing in Englewood, New Jersey. ...


Publications ranging from the The Source to the NME have since recognized it as one of the greatest albums ever created in hip hop history. The album holds the distinction of being one of the few hip hop albums to be included in Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, ranking at #400. The Source is a United States-based, monthly full-color magazine covering hip-hop music, politics, and culture, founded in 1988. ... For other uses, see NME (disambiguation). ... This article is about the magazine. ... The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time was the cover story of a special issue of Rolling Stone magazine published in November 2003. ...


On December 11, 2001, Illmatic was certified Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America, and as of that month was selling 3,000 copies a week in the U.S.[1] A remastered commemorative edition of Illmatic was issued by Columbia for the album's tenth anniversary in 2004, with a bonus disc of four remixes and two previously unreleased tracks. is the 345th day of the year (346th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... This article is about the year. ... “Golden record” redirects here. ... RIAA redirects here. ... A remix is an alternative version of a song, different from the original version. ...

Contents

Background

Concept

The origins of Illmatic lie in Nas' ties with Large Professor. At fifteen, Nas met the seventeen-year old producer from Flushing, Queens, and was introduced to Main Source, a hip hop group of which Large Professor was a member. Nas made his recorded debut with Main Source, recording a verse on "Live at the Barbeque," from Main Source's 1991 LP Breaking Atoms. Nas would later make his solo debut in 1992 on the single "Halftime" from MC Serch's soundtrack for the film Zebrahead. The single added to the buzz surrounding Nas, earning him comparisons to Rakim,[2] an influential trendsetter during the golden age of hip hop. William Paul Mitchell (born March 21, 1972 in Flushing, Queens, New York), best known as Large Professor, also as Large Pro and the Extra P, is a New York based hip hop record producer and MC. He is best known as a member of the influential underground hip hop group... Several landmarks from two New York Worlds Fairs still stand in Flushing Meadows, including the US Steel Unisphere Flushing is an urban neighborhood in the northern part of the borough of Queens in New York City, New York. ... Main Source was an innovative, acclaimed Toronto and New York-based hip hop group comprised of Toronto natives Sir Scratch, K-Cut, and Queens native Large Professor. ... Breaking Atoms was the debut album of Main Source. ... For other uses, see Half time (disambiguation). ... Zebrahead is a 1992 movie, directed by Anthony Drazan and starring Michael Rapaport in his first feature film. ... Rakim (pronounced Rah-Kem) (full name Rakim Allah, born William Michael Griffin Jr. ... The golden age of hip hop, derivative of old school hip hop, was probably introduced with the popularity of Run-DMCs 1986 album Raising Hell. ...


Despite the substantial buzz this collaboration generated for Nas in the underground scene, the rapper struggled to gain a record contract, and was rejected by major rap labels such as Cold Chillin' Records and Def Jam Recordings. Prism Records was an American record label formed in 1978. ... Def Jam Recordings, commonly referred to as Def Jam Records or just Def Jam is an United States based hip-hop record label, owned by Universal Music Group, and operates as a part of The Island Def Jam Music Group. ...


Meanwhile, the group 3rd Bass had dissolved, and MC Serch, a former member of the group, began working on a solo project. In mid-1992, Nas was approached by Serch. At the suggestion of producer T-Ray, Serch collaborated with Nas for "Back to the Grill," the lead single for Serch's solo album, Return of the Product. At the recording session of this song, Serch discovered that Nas did not have a recording contract and, as a result, he contacted Faith Newman, an A&R executive at Sony Music Entertainment. As Serch later recounted, 3rd Bass was a rap group in the late 1980s and early 1990s, notable for being one of the first successful interracial rap groups. ... MC Serch (born Michael Berrin on May 6, 1967) is a Jewish-American hip hop MC and former member of 3rd Bass. ... Return Of The Product is the debut album by rapper MC Serch, released on August 25, 1992 by Def Jam. ... In the music industry, Artists and Repertoire (A&R) is the division of a record label company that is responsible for scouting and artist development. ... Sony Music Entertainment is a major global record label controlled by the Sony Corporation. ...

Nas was in a position where his demo had been sittin' around, "Live at the Barbeque" was already a classic, and he was just tryin' to find a decent deal. And I think Nas didn't know who to trust, and it seemed that no one was teaching him the ropes. So when he gave me his demo, I shopped it around. I took it to Russell first, Russell said it sounded like G Rap, he wasn't wit' it. So I took it to Faith. Faith loved it, she said she'd been looking for Nas for a year and a half. They wouldn't let me leave the office without a deal on the table.[3] Russell Simmons (born October 4, 1957 in Queens, New York), is an American entrepreneur and record producer. ... Nathaniel Wilson (born July 20, 1968), known by stage name Kool G Rap, is an American hardcore rapper from the Corona section of Queens, New York. ...

Recording sessions

Once Serch assumed the role of executive producer for Nas’ upcoming debut album, he attempted to connect Nas with various producers. Based on what they had already heard, numerous New York-based producers were eager to work with him and eventually entered the Power House Studios with Nas. Among these producers was DJ Premier. This biographical article or section needs additional references for verification. ...


Serch later noted the chemistry between Nas and DJ Premier, recounting that "Primo and Nas, they could have been separated at birth. It wasn't a situation where his beats fit their rhymes, they fit each other."[3] While Serch contacted DJ Premier, Large Professor contacted Pete Rock to collaborate with Nas on a song that would ultimately be entitled "The World Is Yours." Shortly afterwards, New York producers Q-Tip and L.E.S. also gained the opportunity to work with Nas. Nas’ father, Olu Dara, also contributed to the album. His cornet solo and rapper AZ's vocals were mixed with Nas' rapping in "Life's a Bitch." Throughout the recording, expectations for Illmatic were high, as shown by a quote from AZ: Pete Rock (born Peter Phillips, June 21, 1970[1] in Bronx, New York) is an American hip hop DJ, producer and rapper. ... Q-Tip (born Jonathan Davis in Brooklyn, New York), USA, is a North American hip-hop emcee, actor, and hip hop producer who was the leader of the critically acclaimed group A Tribe Called Quest. ... Olu Dara (born Charles Jones III in Natchez, Mississippi[1] in 1941) is an American cornetist, guitarist and singer. ... Anthony Cruz (born March 9, 1972 in Brownsville, Brooklyn, New York), better known as AZ, is an American rapper currently residing in Englewood, New Jersey. ...

I got on Nas' album and did the 'Life's a Bitch' song, but even then I thought I was terrible on it, to be honest. But once people started hearing that and liking it, that's what built my confidence. I thought, 'OK, I can probably do this.' That record was everything. To be the only person featured on Illmatic when Nas is considered one of the top men in New York at that time, one of the freshest new artists, that was big.[3]

In an early promotional interview, Nas claimed that the name "Illmatic" (meaning "beyond ill" or "the ultimate") was a reference to his incarcerated Queensbridge friend, Illmatic Ice.[4] With the majority of the album recorded, DJ Premier contributed one last song to the album before its completion. With the recording work over, the finished album was released on April 19, 1994. The album cover features a picture of Nas as a child, taken just after his father, musician Olu Dara had returned home from an overseas tour.[2] The original album cover concept was to feature Nas holding Jesus Christ in a headlock.[2] The cover of The Notorious B.I.G's Ready to Die (released a few months after Illmatic) was criticized by Raekwon & Ghostface Killah, on Raekwon's 1995 debut Only Built 4 Cuban Linx..., for featuring a picture of a baby with an afro, implying that his cover had stolen the idea from Nas. The examples and perspective in this article or section may not represent a worldwide view. ... is the 109th day of the year (110th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1994 (MCMXCIV) The year 1994 was designated as the International Year of the Family and the International Year of the Sport and the Olympic Ideal by the United Nations. ... Olu Dara (born Charles Jones III in Natchez, Mississippi[1] in 1941) is an American cornetist, guitarist and singer. ... Wikipedia does not yet have an article with this exact name. ... Christopher Wallace (May 21, 1972 – March 9, 1997), also known as Biggie Smalls (the moniker of a deceased producer who was a friend of his, Stretchs and 2Pacs, and the subject of 2Pac and Stretchs song God Bless the Dead) and Frank White (from the film King... For other uses, see Ready to Die (disambiguation). ... Corey Woods (born January 12, 1970), known by his stage name Raekwon, is an American East Coast rapper and a member of the Wu-Tang Clan. ... Dennis Coles (born May 9, 1970), better known by the stage name Ghostface Killah, is an American rapper revered for his lyrical dexterity and vivid imagination. ... Only Built 4 Cuban Linx. ... Woman with an afro at the Tribeca Film Festival For the Italian painter known as Afro, see Afro Basaldella. ...


Music

Content

Part of the reason for Illmatic's acclaim was the discerning treatment of its subject matter: gang rivalries, desolation, and the ravages of urban poverty. Nas, who was nineteen years old when the album was recorded, realistically depicts the darker side of urbanity, creating highly detailed first person narratives that deconstruct the troubling lives of inner city teenagers. According to one columnist: Gang warfare is the conflict between differing groups of people identifying themselves as gangs. ... A boy from an East Cipinang trash dump slum in Jakarta, Indonesia shows what he found. ... For other uses, see Point of view (literature). ... The term inner-city is often applied to the poorer parts at the centre of a major city. ...

...Nas was a genius introvert who rose out of the rubble of Reaganomics to bless the mic with a forward brand of introspective, redemptive street poetry...[his] narration glorifies the emergent poetic self as the embodiment of an elevated creative state that is potentially attainable by most any ghetto child...[His] narrative voice swerves between personas that are cynical and optimistic, naïve and world-weary, enraged and serene, globally conscious and provincial...[He] was a most worthy candidate to craft a palatable and subversive message for the rotten apple's disenfranchised youth. He was young and observant enough to isolate and analyze the positively formative moments of a project childhood while unflinchingly documenting the tragedies. Throughout lllmatic, listeners are implored to embrace their hardened upbringing as an imperative to move on to bigger and better things, both in the intellectual and material sense.[5] Ronald Reagan, the US president from which Reaganomics derives its name Reaganomics (a blend of Reagan and economics, coined by radio broadcaster Paul Harvey) is a term that has been used to both describe and decry free market advocacy economic policies of U.S. President Ronald Reagan, who served from... For the rapper, see Ghetto (rapper). ... The Big Apple is a nickname or alternate toponym for New York City used by New Yorkers. ... In the United States and Canada, public housing is a federal, state or provincial, or local program designed to provide subsidized assistance for low-income and poor people. ...

The intro, "Genesis", starts with an audio sample of Wild Style (1982), the first major hip hop motion picture. Nas made another ode to Wild Style, while shooting the music video for his single, "It Ain't Hard To Tell", on the same stage as the finale scene for the film. Nas' famous debut appearance, "Live at the Barbeque" is played in the background of "Genesis". On "One Love," Nas writes a series of letters to a friend in prison, recounting several mutual acquaintances and the events that have occurred since the receiver's imprisonment. And in "N.Y. State of Mind," Nas recounts his participation in gang violence, and philosophizes that "Life is parallel to Hell, but I must maintain." The song focuses on a mind state that one can only truly have if they are raised in New York City. In other songs, Nas celebrates life's pleasures and achievements, acknowledging violence as a feature of his socio-economic conditions rather than the focus of his life. // This is the year of film E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, which will become the highest grossing movie for almost 15 years (until Titanic), earning double or triple against any major film of the 1980s. ... For other uses see film (disambiguation) Film refers to the celluliod media on which movies are printed Film — also called movies, the cinema, the silver screen, moving pictures, photoplays, picture shows, flicks, or motion pictures, — is a field that encompasses motion pictures as an art form or as part of... It Aint Hard To Tell is a 1994 hip hop single by Nas. ... One Love is a single by rapper Nas from his seminal album, Illmatic. ... New York, New York and NYC redirect here. ...


The New York Times noted that Nas "imbues his chronicle with humanity and humor, not just hardness ... [He] reports violence without celebrating it, dwelling on the way life triumphs over grim circumstances rather than the other way around."[6] And Time magazine praised the "submerged emotion" on Illmatic, calling the album a "wake-up call to [Nas]'s listeners.".[6] The New York Times is a daily newspaper published in New York City and distributed internationally. ... TIME redirects here. ...


Lyrics

In addition to its powerful narratives, Illmatic also gained acclaim for its lyrical substance. As Marc Lamont Hill of PopMatters writes: "Nas' complex rhyme patterns, clever word play, and impressive vocab took the art [of rapping] to previously unprecedented heights. Building on the pioneering work of Kool G Rap, Big Daddy Kane, and Rakim, tracks like 'Halftime' and the laid back 'One Time 4 Your Mind' demonstrated a [high] level of technical precision and rhetorical dexterity…" Hill cites "Memory Lane" as "an exemplar of flawless lyricism":[7] Look up lyrics in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... PopMatters is an international magazine of cultural criticism. ... A rhyme scheme is like the pattern of rhyming like lines in a poem or in like lyrics for music. ... This article is about Word play. ... Nathaniel Wilson (born July 20, 1968), known by stage name Kool G Rap, is an American hardcore rapper from the Corona section of Queens, New York. ... Antonio Hardy (born September 10, 1968), better known by his stage name Big Daddy Kane, is a record producer/rapper from the Bed-Stuy section of Brooklyn, New York. ... Rakim (pronounced Rah-Kem) (full name Rakim Allah, born William Michael Griffin Jr. ...

I rap for listeners, blunt heads, fly ladies and prisoners
Hennessy holders and old school niggas, then I be dissin a
Unofficial that smoke woolie thai
I dropped out of Cooley High, gassed up by a cokehead cutie pie
Jungle survivor, fuck who's the liver
My man put the battery in my back, a difference from Energizer
Sentence begins indented, with formality
My duration's infinite, money-wise or physiology
Poetry, that's a part of me, retardedly bop
I drop the ancient manifested hip-hop, straight off the block
I reminisce on park jams, my man was shot for his sheep coat
Childhood lesson made me see him drop in my weed smoke

Production

Illmatic also gained praise for its production. According to critics, the album's four major producers (Large Professor, DJ Premier, Pete Rock, and Q-Tip) extensively contributed to the cohesive atmospheric aesthetic that permeated the album, while still retaining each's individual, trademark sound. Q magazine noted that "the musical backdrops [of Illmatic] are razor sharp; hard beats but with melodic hooks and loops, atmospheric background piano, strings or muted trumpet, and samples ... A potent treat."[8] With regards to Illmatic's production, one columnist wrote: "The production, accentuated by infectious organ loop[s], vocal sample[s], and synthesizer-like pads in the background, places your mind in a cheerful, reminiscent, mood...A substantial reason for its phenomenal quality...can be attributed to..the most accomplished and consistently excellent music producers."[9] Q is a music and entertainment magazinepublished monthly in the United Kingdom. ... Synth redirects here. ...


The assembly of producers DJ Premier, Q-Tip, Pete Rock, and Large Professor on a single project was unprecedented in hip hop music, since most rap albums had been primarily the work of one dedicated hip hop production team.[2] According to one columnist: "Nas' Illmatic, widely considered one of the best albums in any genre made during the past two decades, is the first to draw together top hip hop producers in the recording industry.[10] Hip hop production is the creation of hip hop music. ...


Critical recognition

Illmatic was immediately hailed as a masterpiece by several critics,[11] and is one of the most celebrated and influential albums in hip hop history.[12] Illmatic redefined the musical milieu of East Coast hip hop in the mid-1990s, resulting in a renewed focus on lyricism and in the revival of the Queensbridge rap scene. In spite of this, the initial record sales of Illmatic fell below expectations.[2] Although some criticized the album for its brevity (it contained only nine songs and one skit; unusual for a hip hop album) the general reaction to Illmatic was overwhelmingly positive—garnering notable praise from several media outlets. It was one of just sixteen hip hop albums to be included in Pitchfork Media's "Best Albums Of The 90s Redux list" and was listed as one of thirty-three hip hop/R&B albums included in Rolling Stone’s "Essential Recordings of the 90s." Illmatic was voted #5 in "The Critics Top 100 Black Music Albums of All Time"[13] and #3 in the Hip-Hop Connection Magazine’s Top 100 Readers Poll. Illmatic also was ranked #4 in Vibe magazine's "Top 10 Rap Albums", and #2 in MTV's list of "The Greatest Hip Hop Albums of All Time."[14] // In hip hop music, people individually and separately vocalize over beats, instrumental tracks, usually consisting of repeated phrases. ... East Coast hip hop is a style of hip hop music that originated in New York City during the early-1970s. ... Look up lyrics in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Queensbridge Houses as seen from the Queensboro Bridge. ... A hip hop skit is a form of sketch comedy that appears on a hip hop album, and is usually written and performed by the artists themselves. ... Pitchfork Media, usually known simply as Pitchfork, is a United States-based daily Internet publication devoted to music criticism and commentary, music news, and artist interviews. ... R&B redirects here. ... For other uses, see Vibe. ... This article is about the original U.S. music television channel. ...


Illmatic was awarded the 5 mics (out of 5) rating from The Source, a prestigious achievement given the magazine's influence within the hip hop community at the time.[2] This was somewhat controversial, since it was unheard of for a debuting artist to receive such a coveted rating. Reginald C. Dennis, former music editor of the magazine and co-founder of XXL, stated: The Source is a United States-based, monthly full-color magazine covering hip-hop music, politics, and culture, founded in 1988. ... A 2005 cover of XXL, featuring Snoop Dogg and The Game. ...

Awarding records 5 mics – classic status – has always been, on some levels, troubling to me. I mean, we are not only saying that a particular piece of music is superior to everything that is out now, but it will be better than most things released in the future as well...I only gave one 5 under my watch and it went to Nas’s Illmatic. It was the only time I ever broke the 'no 5' rule. Jon Shecter [co-founder of The Source] had gotten his hands on the album like eight months before it was scheduled to drop...Jon didn’t let the tape out of his sight. Not only that, but he constantly raved about it. Everyday. He played it in the office about a million times and very early on began to lobby for this record to receive 5 mics...I told Jon that we'd work all of that stuff out when it was time to review the album. But everyday, Jon was like, "yo, this album is 5 mics — seriously, Reg, 5 mics!"[15]

Significance

East Coast hip hop

Illmatic represents one of the most influential hip hop albums of the mid-1990s, and is considered by hip hop pundits as one of the archetypal albums of East Coast hip hop. Adam Heimlich of the New York Press claimed that "Nas's heralded debut was an explosive, explicit rejection of the cultural assimilation of most previous hip-hop."[16] For other uses, see Archetype (disambiguation). ... East Coast hip hop is a style of hip hop music that originated in New York City during the early-1970s. ... New York Press is a free alternative weekly in New York City. ...


Along with the critical acclaim of The Wu-Tang Clan's Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) and the critical and commercial success of The Notorious B.I.G.'s Ready to Die, Illmatic was instrumental in restoring interest into the East Coast hip hop scene, while shifting the emphasis away from the melodious, synth-driven, and funk-induced West Coast G-funk[11] (which dominated the charts for some time following the release of Dr. Dre's The Chronic). Though initial sales were low, Illmatic would eventually go platinum by 2001.[2][1] As All Music Guide's Steve Huey writes: "It helped spearhead the artistic renaissance of New York hip hop in the post-Chronic era, leading a return to street aesthetics."[17] Wu-Tang redirects here. ... Alternate cover Enter the Wu-Tang (2004 re-issue) Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) is the debut album of the East Coast hip hop collective the Wu-Tang Clan. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... For other uses, see Ready to Die (disambiguation). ... Synth redirects here. ... For other uses, including related musical genres, see Funk (disambiguation). ... West Coast hip hop, also known as West Coast rap or California hip hop, is a style of hip hop music that originated in California in the early 1980s. ... G-funk, an abbreviation of Gangsta-funk, is a type of hip hop music that emerged from West Coast gangsta rap in the early 1990s. ... For the New York radio and television presenter, see Doctor Dre. ... Back cover The Chronic is the highly influential debut album from American rap producer Dr. Dre, released in 1992. ... The All Music Guide (AMG) is a metadata database about music, owned by All Media Guide. ... East Coast hip hop is a style of hip hop music that originated in New York City during the early-1970s. ...


David Drake of Stylus Magazine wrote, "...hip hop was on the come-up in '94. Everything that had been building in terms of production and rapping came to an apex in '94, the year that brought us both Notorious B.I.G.'s epic debut Ready to Die and Nas' trenchant street reflections on Illmatic...This was the critical point for the East Coast, a time when rappers from the New York area were releasing bucketloads of thrilling work..."[18] As Nas later recounted: "It felt amazing to be accepted by New York City in that way...at the time a lot of West Coast [hip-hop] was selling; East Coast wasn't selling as much, especially for a new artist. So back then you couldn't tell in the sales, but you could tell in the streets".[19] This article is about the online music and film magazine. ...


Illmatic is also credited with reviving the Queensbridge rap scene.[2] Once home to prestigious pioneers such as Marley Marl, MC Shan, Roxanne Shanté, Queensbridge had been one of the most productive hip hop scenes in the country during the 1980s, yet it was otherwise stagnant during the early-1990s. According to Nas: "I was coming from the legacy of Marley Marl, MC Shan, Juice Crew kind of vibe. Knowing these guys out in the neighborhood. At that time, the Queensbridge scene was dead. Dropping that album right there said a lot for me to carry on the legacy of the Queensbridge pioneers."[19] Following Illmatic's release, Queensbridge returned to prominence after years of obscurity, with the ascendancy of the influential hardcore rap group, Mobb Deep (who gained credibility due to their affiliation with Nas) and later with the emergence of the trend-setting duo, Capone-n-Noreaga.[2] Furthermore, the album is credited with launching the career of the Brooklyn-based rapper, AZ. AZ, who gained instant exposure and underground credibility due to his appearance on "Life's a Bitch," would go on to become a frequent collaborator of Nas. Queensbridge Houses is the largest public housing development in the United States. ... Marlon Williams (born September 30, 1962 in Queens, New York City), better known as Marley Marl, is an influential hip-hop producer. ... Shawn Moltke is an American rapper who uses the stage name MC Shan. ... Roxanne Shanté (born Lolita Shanté Gooden on November 9, 1969) is an American rap pioneer. ... The Juice Crew was a pioneering hip-hop collective in the mid to late 1980s founded by producer Marley Marl and housed by the label Cold Chillin Records. ... Hardcore hip hop is a form of hip hop music that has confrontational, often violent lyrics, and generally sparse, gritty urban beats. ... Mobb Deep are a hip hop duo which consists of rappers Havoc and Prodigy. ... Capone-N-Noreaga (C-N-N for short) is an East Coast hip hop duo that consists of Capone (Kiam Holley - born in 8 February 1976) and Noreaga (Victor Santiago - born in 6 September 1976). ... This article is about the New York City borough, or Kings County, New York. ... Anthony Cruz (born March 9, 1972 in Brownsville, Brooklyn, New York), better known as AZ, is an American rapper currently residing in Englewood, New Jersey. ...


Lyricism

Despite its initial low sales, Illmatic made a profound impact on the burgeoning hip hop underground circuit, and marked a major stylistic change in hip hop music by introducing a new standard of lyricism.[9] Prior to the album's release, hip hop lyricism was mostly defined by two popular forms. One was characterized by a fast-paced Ragga-flow accompanied with a whimsical, often nonsensical lyrical delivery, and had been popularized by the Brooklyn-based groups Das EFX and The Fu-Schnickens. The other form was characterized by a slurred "lazy drawl" that sacrificed lyrical complexity for clarity and rhythmic cadence, and was exemplified by popular West Coast hip hop artists such as Snoop Doggy Dogg. However, Illmatic's rhythmically-immaculate verbal pace and intricate, multi-syllabic internal rhyme patterns, inspired several rappers to modify their rapping abilities — bringing a renewed focus on lyricism to hip hop.[2][4] According to musicologist and pianist Guthrie P. Ramsey, of the University of Pennsylvania, "It set a benchmark for rappers in an artistic field consumed by constantly shifting notions of 'realness', authenticity, and artistic credibility."[20] Not to be confused with Rāga. ... For other uses, see Nonsense (disambiguation). ... This article is about the New York City borough, or Kings County, New York. ... Das EFX is an American hip-hop group. ... The Fu-Schnickens were a hip-hop trio. ... For the popular Tamil film, see Rhythm (film). ... In Western musical theory a cadence (Latin cadentia, a falling) is a particular series of intervals or chords that ends a phrase, section, or piece of music. ... Calvin Cordozar Broadus, Jr. ... In poetry, internal rhyme, or middle rhyme, is rhyme which occurs within a single line of verse. ... A rhyme scheme is like the pattern of rhyming like lines in a poem or in like lyrics for music. ... A musicologist is someone who studies musicology. ... This article is about the private Ivy League university in Philadelphia. ...


Decline of alternative hip hop

Illmatic was one of the earliest phenomena in East Coast hip hop music that distinguished the burgeoning hardcore rap scene from the alternative hip hop acts of the early-1990s. Recorded while East Coast hip hop was still dominated by the jazz influences of A Tribe Called Quest and De La Soul, and the Afrocentric stylings of Brand Nubian and X Clan, the album roughly delineates the end of the golden age of hip hop (1989 – 1996) and the emergence of Mafioso rap, which flourished during the mid-1990s following the release of Only Built 4 Cuban Linx... (see 1995 in music). Yet as Adam Heimlich writes: "In 1994, there appeared likely to be more money (and definitely more cultural rewards) in working with Arrested Development or Digable Planets."[16] Although the album contains strong elements of jazz rap and alternative hip hop, Steve Huey credits Illmatic with marking "the beginning of a shift away from Native Tongues-inspired alternative rap,"[17] towards future hardcore hip hop artists such as Raekwon and Mobb Deep. Furthermore, Adam Heimlich writes: "[Nas] came on the scene as hardcore's golden child. Along with Wu-Tang Clan, Nas and Mobb Deep all but invented 90s New York rap, back when the notion of an 'East Coast gangsta' still meant Schoolly D or Kool G. Rap. Those three ... designed the manner and style in which New York artists would address what Snoop and Dre had made rap's hottest topics: drugs and violence."[16] Hardcore hip hop is a form of hip hop music that has confrontational, often violent lyrics, and generally sparse, gritty urban beats. ... Alternative hip hop (also known as alternative rap) is a genre that is defined in greatly varying ways. ... A Tribe Called Quest is a critically acclaimed and highly-influential American hip-hop group, formed in 1988. ... De La Soul is a Grammy-award winning hip hop group from Long Island, New York. ... see African studies for the study of African culture and history in Africa. ... Brand Nubian is a hip hop group from New Rochelle, New York, consisting of three MCs; Grand Puba (born Maxwell Dixon, March 4, 1966), Sadat X (formerly Derek X, born Derek Murphy) and Lord Jamar (born Lorenzo Dechalus, on September 17, 1968), and two DJs, DJ Alamo and DJ Sincere. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... The golden age of hip hop, derivative of old school hip hop, began with the popularity of Run-DMCs album Raising Hell in 1986 and ended with the popularity of G-Funk around 1993. ... For the Ice T album, see Gangsta Rap (album). ... Only Built 4 Cuban Linx. ... See also: 1995 in music (UK) Musical groups established in 1995 Record labels established in 1995 January 1 - Debut album Sixteen Stone by Bush hits #4 on the Billboard 200 a post grunge success January 18 - Jerry Garcia wrecks his rented BMW into a guard rail near Mill Valley, California. ... Arrested Development is an American progressive hip hop group, founded by Speech and Headliner as a positive, Afrocentric alternative to the gangsta rap popular in the early 1990s. ... Digable Planets is a New York City based alternative hip hop group composed of Ishmael Butterfly Butler (from New York), Craig Doodlebug Irving (from Philadelphia), and Mary Ann Ladybug Mecca Vieira (from Washington, D.C.). They were backed by Silkworm, who later embarked on a solo career under the name... Jazz rap is a fusion of alternative hip hop music and jazz, developed in the very late 1980s and early 1990s. ... The Native Tongues Posse is a group of late 1980s and early 1990s black nationalist hip hop artists known for their positive Afrocentric lyrics and jazzy beats. ... Corey Woods (born January 12, 1970), known by his stage name Raekwon, is an American East Coast rapper and a member of the Wu-Tang Clan. ... Mobb Deep are a hip hop duo which consists of rappers Havoc and Prodigy. ... Hardcore hip hop is a form of hip hop music characterized by confrontation and aggression in its subject matter, heavy beats, raw sampling and production, or any combination thereof. ... East Coast hip hop is a style of hip hop music that originated in New York City during the early-1970s. ... Gangsta rap, also known as hardcore hip-hop, was the name given to the subgenre of hip hop which often involved lyrical subjects based on the violence and misogyny inherent in the lifestyle of street thugs and gangsters. ... // Background Schoolly D is the moniker of Jesse B. Weaver, Jr. ... Kool G Rap (born Nathaniel Wilson July 20, 1968) is an American hardcore gangsta rapper from Queens, New York. ... Calvin Cordozar Broadus, Jr. ... For the New York radio and television presenter, see Doctor Dre. ...


Hip hop artists

Today, several respected mainstream and underground rappers within the hip hop community have acknowledged the huge influence Illmatic had on them, making numerous references towards it. These wide range of artists include the battle rappers, SunN.Y.[21] and Reef The Lost Cauze,[22] Talib Kweli, Lupe Fiasco and Saigon, the popular producers Just Blaze and Alchemist, as well as the platinum-selling rappers Eminem (who adopted a similar lyrical approach on his album, Infinite) and The Game, who makes several references to the album on his debut, The Documentary. In his collaboration with Nas, "Hustlers", The Game made another ode towards Illmatic: To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Talib Kweli (born Talib Kweli Greene in Brooklyn, New York City on October 3, 1975) is an American MC from Brooklyn, New York. ... Wasalu Muhammad Jaco (born February 16, 1982 in Chicago, Illinois) better known by his stage name Lupe Fiasco, is an American rapper. ... Brian Daniel Carenard (born June 1, 1977), better known by his stage name Saigon, is an American rapper. ... Justin Smith (born in Paterson, New Jersey on January 14, 1978), better known as Just Blaze, is an American hip hop music producer. ... Alan Daniel Maman, better known as The Alchemist, is one of hip hops leading producers. ... The description Gold Album is applied to recorded music albums that have sold a minimum number of copies (in the US, currently 500,000 sales). ... List of hip hop musicians is broken down into several smaller lists and categories: // Beatboxers DJs and producers Turntablists Groups Rappers Christian (rappers | groups) Fictional Singers Albanian (groups) American (rappers | groups) Angolan (groups) Australian (rappers | groups | Crews) Austrian Belgian (groups) Bosnian and Herzegovinan (rappers | groups) Brazilian (rappers | groups) British (rappers... Marshall Bruce Mathers III (born October 17, 1972), better known as Eminem or Slim Shady, is a Grammy and Academy Award-winning American rapper, record producer and actor from the Detroit, Michigan area. ... Infinite is the debut album by hip-hop artist Eminem, recorded and produced with help from The Bass Brothers and fellow D12 members Kon Artis and Eye-Kyu in 1996. ... Jayceon Terell Taylor (born November 27, 1979 in Los Angeles,[1] California), better known by his stage name The Game, is a multi-platinum American rapper signed to Interscope Records. ... The Documentary is Los Angeles rapper The Games first major-label album. ... Hustlers is the third single from Nas 2006 album Hip Hop Is Dead. ...

Nineteen ninety five, eleven years from the day
I'm in the record shop with choices to make
Illmatic on the top shelf, The Chronic on the left, homie
Wanna cop both but only got a twenty on me
So fuck it, I stole both, spent the twenty on a dub-sack
Ripped the package of Illmatic and bumped that
For my niggas it was too complex when Nas rhymed
I was the only Compton nigga with a New York State of Mind
Year 1995 (MCMXCV) was a common year starting on Sunday. ... Back cover The Chronic is the highly influential debut album from American rap producer Dr. Dre, released in 1992. ... A young waif steals a pair of boots Stealing redirects here. ... N.Y. State of Mind, Pts. ...

On XXL's website, Illmatic was featured in a list of acclaimed hip hop albums, compiled by Clipse. Malice, a member of the hip hop duo, claimed: "Illmatic captured the whole New York state of mind for me. It embraced everything I knew New York to be. The album had 10 songs, all of them flawless. Me and my homies got great memories of rolling around listening to that, huslin’, smokin’, chillin’. That embodied everything that was right with hip-hop. That CD never came out my deck.”[23] A 2005 cover of XXL, featuring Snoop Dogg and The Game. ... Clipse is a Virginia based (via The Bronx) hip hop duo. ...


Lyrics from Illmatic have also been sampled by other rappers on numerous occasions, including Big L's "Ebonics" (which samples "It Ain't Hard to Tell"), Milkbone's "Keep It Real" (which samples "Life's a Bitch"), Real Live's "Real Live Shit" (which samples "It Ain't Hard to Tell"), and most notably, Blu & Exile's "In Remembrance" (which samples "The World Is Yours" and "One Love") and Jay-Z's "Rap Game/Crack Game" (which samples "Represent") and "Dead Presidents II" (which samples "The World is Yours"). In fact, Common’s critically acclaimed album, Be, has been said to have been molded after Illmatic.[24][25][26] In music, sampling is the act of taking a portion of one sound recording and reusing it as an instrument or element of a new recording. ... Lamont Coleman (May 30, 1974–February 15, 1999), better known as Big L, was an American rapper. ... The Big Picture is the final, and first posthumous album released from slain Harlem rapper Big L. Released on August 1, 2000, its lead single was Holdin It Down featuring Stan Spit and D.I.T.C. member A.G. The album also features the popular single Ebonics, as well... Jay-Z (aka the Jigga, HOV and Hova, born Shawn Carter on December 4, 1970 in Brooklyn, New York) is an African American rapper/hip hop artist and record label executive; one of the most popular and successful rappers of the late 1990s and early 2000s. ... Singles from Released: September 16, 1997 Released: February 3, 1998 Released: 1998 In My Lifetime, Vol. ... Dead Presidents is the first single released in promotion of rapper Jay-Zs debut album Reasonable Doubt. ... Lonnie Rashid Lynn, Jr. ... Be is a 2005 album by rapper Common, produced by Kanye West and J Dilla. ...


Later Nas albums

While the critical success of Illmatic helped Nas' infant career immeasurably, hip-hop aficionados have cited it as his inextricable "gift and curse."[7] Due to the widespread critical fame of his debut, Nas' subsequent albums have all been weighed against Illmatic. Against this standard, they are often critically deemed as mediocre follow-ups.[7] For instance, while Nas' second album, It Was Written, received favorable reviews, it is generally agreed that it failed to live up to the classic status of Illmatic. In addition, many fans of Illmatic went on to label Nas' subsequent efforts as 'selling out', due to his crossover sensibilities (e.g. his participation with the hip-hop supergroup The Firm) and his radio-friendly hits aimed at the pop charts, such as "If I Ruled The World (Imagine That)" and "Hate Me Now". By the time Nas released I Am... and Nastradamus in 1999, many feared that his career was deteriorating, as both albums received further criticism for their commercially-oriented sound (the latter, Nastradamus, was especially maligned by critics). Reflecting this widespread perception in the hip-hop community, Jay-Z mocked Nas in "Takeover" for having a "one hot album [Illmatic] every ten year average." Nas, however, made something of a comeback with his 2001 Stillmatic, and his subsequent albums have tended to receive more positive reviews as well. Nevertheless, most fans still regard Illmatic as his definitive album.[7] The sophomore jinx, in sports, refers to the tendency for a player to follow a good season in his rookie year with a disappointing season. ... It Was Written is the second album by Queensbridge rapper Nas. ... Selling out refers to the compromising of ones integrity, morality and principles in exchange for money, success or other personal gain. ... The Firm included four New York rappers -- Nas, Foxy Brown, AZ, and Nature -- but was actually the pet project of its producers: Nas Escobar (as he referred to himself at the time), Steve Commissioner Stoute, Dr. Dre, and the Trackmasters. ... If I Ruled The World (Imagine That) is a 1996 hit hip hop single by NaS featuring Lauryn Hill of The Fugees. ... I am. ... For the album by the rapper Nas, see I Am. ... Nastradamus is the title of Nas fourth studio album for the Columbia Records label, released in November 1999, and is also one of his aliases. ... Jay-Z (aka the Jigga, HOV and Hova, born Shawn Carter on December 4, 1970 in Brooklyn, New York) is an African American rapper/hip hop artist and record label executive; one of the most popular and successful rappers of the late 1990s and early 2000s. ... Takeover is an album track recorded by Jay-Z for his 2001 hip hop album The Blueprint. ... Singles from Stillmatic Released: 2001 Released: December 4, 2001 Released: April 16, 2002 Stillmatic is a hip hop album by Nas. ...


Track listing

# Title Length Performer(s) Songwriters Producer(s) Samples[27] Year Recorded
1 "The Genesis" 1:45 Nas
  • Additional vocals by AZ
Nasir Jones
Fred Brathwaite
1993
2 "N.Y. State of Mind" 4:54 Nas Nasir Jones
Chris Martin
DJ Premier 1992
3 "Life's a Bitch" 3:30 Nas
Anthony Cruz
Lashan David Lewis
Olu Dara
Nasir Jones
Ronnie Wilson
Oliver Scott
L.E.S. 1993
4 "The World Is Yours" 4:50 Nas
Nasir Jones
Pete Phillips
Pete Rock 1992
5 "Halftime" 4:20 Nas Gary Byrd
Nasir Jones
W.P. Mitchell
Large Professor
  • "Dead End" by Japanese Hair
  • "Soul Travelin'" by Gary Byrd
  • "School Boy Crush" by Average White Band
1992
6 "Memory Lane (Sittin' in da Park)" 4:08 Nas P. Barsella
Nasir Jones
Chris Martin
Reuben Wilson
DJ Premier 1992
7 "One Love" 5:25 Nas
  • Additional vocals by Q-Tip (chorus)
Jonathan Davis
Nasir Jones
Jimmy Heath
Q-Tip 1992
8 "One Time 4 Your Mind" 3:18 Nas Nasir Jones
W.P. Mitchell
Large Professor 1993
9 "Represent" 4:12 Nas Nasir Jones
Chris Martin
DJ Premier
  • "The Thief of Baghdad" by Lee Erwin
1992
10 "It Ain't Hard to Tell" 3:22 Nas Nasir Jones
W.P. Mitchell
Large Professor 1992

The Genesis is the opening skit on Nas debut album, Illmatic. ... Anthony Cruz (born March 9, 1972 in Brownsville, Brooklyn, New York), better known as AZ, is an American rapper currently residing in Englewood, New Jersey. ... Main Source was an innovative, acclaimed Toronto and New York-based hip hop group comprised of Toronto natives Sir Scratch, K-Cut, and Queens native Large Professor. ... Grand Wizard Theodore (right). ... Chris Stein (born January 5, 1950 in Brooklyn, New York) is co-founder and guitar player in the popular group Blondie [1]. He was diagnosed with a rare and usually fatal genetic disease called Pemphigus in 1983. ... Blondie is the name of an American rock band that first gained fame in the late 1970s, and which has sold over 140 million records. ... For other uses, see Wild Style (disambiguation). ... // This is the year of film E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, which will become the highest grossing movie for almost 15 years (until Titanic), earning double or triple against any major film of the 1980s. ... N.Y. State of Mind, Pts. ... This biographical article or section needs additional references for verification. ... Joe Chambers (b. ... Donaldson Toussaint LOuverture Byrd II (born December 9, 1932) is an American jazz and rhythm and blues trumpeter, born in Detroit, Michigan. ... Eric Barrier (Eric B.) and William Griffin (Rakim), were a hip-hop duo known as Eric B. & Rakim. ... For other uses, see Lifes a Bitch. ... Anthony Cruz (born March 9, 1972 in Brownsville, Brooklyn, New York), better known as AZ, is an American rapper currently residing in Englewood, New Jersey. ... B♭ cornet The cornet is a brass instrument very similar to the trumpet, distinguished by its conical bore, compact shape, and mellower tone quality. ... Olu Dara (born Charles Jones III in Natchez, Mississippi[1] in 1941) is an American cornetist, guitarist and singer. ... L.E.S. (born Leshan David Lewis) is a hip hop prodcer commonly associated with Nas. ... The Gap Band are a U.S. R&B, funk and soul music group who rose to fame during the 1970s and 1980s with their heavily-charged dance anthems and their sentimental and ethereal love songs. ... Grover Washington, Jr. ... Nas in The World Is Yours music video The World Is Yours is a 1994 single by Nas, from his debut album, Illmatic. ... Pete Rock (born Peter Phillips, June 21, 1970[1] in Bronx, New York) is an American hip hop DJ, producer and rapper. ... A refrain (from the Old French refraindre to repeat, likely from Vulgar Latin refringere) is the line or lines that are repeated in music or in verse; the chorus of a song. ... Pete Rock (born Peter Phillips, June 21, 1970[1] in Bronx, New York) is an American hip hop DJ, producer and rapper. ... Ahmad Jamal (born on July 2, 1930)[1] is a noted American jazz pianist. ... Clarence Ronnie Keaton (born 1961), known by the stage name, T La Rock, was an American old school rapper best known for his collaboration with Def Jam Recordings co-founder Rick Rubin and the 1984 single, Its Yours. // T La Rock was born and raised in the Bronx borough... For other uses, see Half time (disambiguation). ... William Paul Mitchell (born March 21, 1972 in Flushing, Queens, New York), best known as Large Professor, also as Large Pro and the Extra P, is a New York based hip hop record producer and MC. He is best known as a member of the influential underground hip hop group... The Average White Band (also AWB) is a Scottish funk and R&B band. ... Memory Lane (Sittin in da Park) is a song featured on Nas debut, Illmatic. ... Reuben Lincoln Wilson (Born April 9, 1935) is known as The Godfather of Acid Jazz. He started his music in the 1960s. ... Biz Markie (born Marcel Hall April 8, 1964 in Harlem, New York) is a rapper and DJ, best known for humorous singles such as Just a Friend. He has been labeled The Clown Prince of Hip-Hop. ... Craig G Performing Live Craig G (born Craig Morgan) is a hip-hop MC who hails from the Queens Bridge district in New York, USA. Craig is best known as one of the original members of legendary hip hop producer Marly Marls Cold Chillin Records group the Juice Crew... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... One Love is a single by rapper Nas from his seminal album, Illmatic. ... Q-Tip (born Jonathan Davis in Brooklyn, New York), USA, is a North American hip-hop emcee, actor, and hip hop producer who was the leader of the critically acclaimed group A Tribe Called Quest. ... Q-Tip (born Jonathan Davis in Brooklyn, New York), USA, is a North American hip-hop emcee, actor, and hip hop producer who was the leader of the critically acclaimed group A Tribe Called Quest. ... The Heath Brothers was a jazz group formed in 1975 by brothers Jimmy (tenor saxophone), Percy (bass), and Tootie Heath (drums) and pianist Stanley Cowell. ... Clyde McPhatter (November 15, 1932 _ June 13, 1972) was an influential American R&B singer, born in Durham, North Carolina. ... Gary Burton (born on 23 January 1943 in Anderson, Indiana) is a jazz vibraphone player, known for developing the then-innovative technique of playing the instrument with four mallets, rather than the usual two. ... It Aint Hard To Tell is a 1994 hip hop single by Nas. ... Thriller track listing Billie Jean (6) Human Nature (7) P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing) (8) Human Nature is a single released by Michael Jackson from his 1982 hit album, Thriller. ... Michael Joseph Jackson (August 29, 1958), commonly known as MJ as well as the King of Pop, is an American musician, entertainer, and pop icon whose successful career and controversial personal life have been a part of pop culture for the last three decades. ... Steve Porcaro is a keyboardist and composer who was an original member of the rock/pop band, Toto. ... Kool & the Gang is a highly successful American jazz/R&B/soul/funk/disco group. ... Robert Kool Bell (born 8 October 1950) is a singer who was a member in the band Kool & the Gang. ... Ronald Bell (born November 1, 1951) is an American singer and musician who was is founding member of the band Kool & the Gang. ... Kool & The Gang Kool & the Gang was a highly successful R&B/soul/funk/disco group. ... Claydes Charles Smith (September 6, 1948–June 20, 2006) was an American musician best known as co-founder and lead guitarist of the group Kool & the Gang. ... Mountain is an American rock band, popular in the early 1970s. ... Felix Pappalardi (December 30, 1939 – April 17, 1983) is best known as the producer of the psychedelic, blues-inspired rock trio Cream, beginning with their second album, Disraeli Gears. ... Leslie West (born October 22, 1945) is an American rock guitarist, singer and songwriter. ... Stanley Clarke (born 30 June 1951) is an American musician and composer known for his innovative and influential work on double bass and bass guitar as well as his numerous film and television scores. ...

Anniversary Edition

In 2004, a 10th Anniversary Edition of Illmatic was released, which contained a second disc of bonus songs:

# Title Length Performer(s) Songwriters Producer(s) Samples
1 "Life's a Bitch (Remix)" 3:00 Nas
  • Additional vocals by AZ (First Verse)
Nasir Jones
Dana Stinson
Rockwilder
2 "The World Is Yours (Remix)" 3:56 Nas Nasir Jones
Kenny Rankin
Omar Glover
Tony Aviles
M. Fortunato
Vibesmen
  • Contains sample from "I Love You" as performed and written by Kenny Rankin
  • Contains sample from "At My Most Beautiful" as performed by R.E.M.
3 "One Love (Remix)" 5:09 Nas Nasir Jones
Nick Loftin
Thom Bell
Deniece Williams
Nick Fury
4 "It Ain't Hard to Tell (Remix)" 3:26 Nas Nasir Jones
Nick Loftin
Nick Fury
  • Contains sample from "Nobody Beats The Biz" as performed by Biz Markie
5 "On the Real" 3:26 Nas Nasir Jones
Marlon Williams
Isaac Hayes
David Porter
Marley Marl
6 "Star Wars" 4:08 Nas Nasir Jones
Paul Mitchell
David Axelrod
John Williams
Large Professor
  • Utilizes the beat from "Hip Hop" by Large Professor
  • Contains sample from "Ken Russell" by David Axelrod
  • Contains sample from "Imperial March (Darth Vader Theme)" by John Williams

Anthony Cruz (born March 9, 1972 in Brownsville, Brooklyn, New York), better known as AZ, is an American rapper currently residing in Englewood, New Jersey. ... Rockwilder (born Dana Stinson) is an American hip hop and R&B record producer. ... Theodore DeReese Pendergrass, Sr. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Jazz guitar player and singer. ... R.E.M. is an American rock band formed in Athens, Georgia in 1980 by Bill Berry (drums), Peter Buck (guitar), Mike Mills (bass guitar), and Michael Stipe (vocals). ... Deniece Niecy Williams (June 3, 1950— ) is an American singer, songwriter and record producer who achieved success in the 1970s and 1980s. ... For other people with similar names, see Tom Bell and Thomas Bell. ... Deniece Niecy Williams (June 3, 1950— ) is an American singer, songwriter and record producer who achieved success in the 1970s and 1980s. ... Biz Markie (born Marcel Hall April 8, 1964 in Harlem, New York) is a rapper and DJ, best known for humorous singles such as Just a Friend. He has been labeled The Clown Prince of Hip-Hop. ... Marlon Williams (born September 30, 1962 in Queens, New York City), better known as Marley Marl, is an influential hip-hop producer. ... The Soul Children was an American soul music group. ... For the American arctic explorer, see Isaac Israel Hayes Isaac Lee Hayes (born August 20, 1942, in Covington, Tennessee) is an American soul and funk singer, songwriter, musician, record producer, arranger, and actor best known as the voice of Chef on the Emmy-winning animated sitcom South Park. ... David Porter (born 21 November 1941) is an American soul musician best known as the songwriting partner of Isaac Hayes during the 1960s. ... One Love is a single by rapper Nas from his seminal album, Illmatic. ... For other uses, see Nas (disambiguation). ... William Paul Mitchell (born March 21, 1972 in Flushing, Queens, New York), best known as Large Professor, also as Large Pro and the Extra P, is a New York based hip hop record producer and MC. He is best known as a member of the influential underground hip hop group... David Axelrod is a Democratic political consultant based in Chicago. ... For other persons named John Williams, see John Williams (disambiguation). ...

Singles chart positions

Year Single Chart positions
Billboard Hot 100 Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs Hot Rap Tracks
2003 "It Ain't Hard to Tell" 91 57 13
"The World Is Yours" 114 67 27
"Life's a Bitch"
"One Love" 106 24

"—" denotes releases that did not chart. “Hot 100” redirects here. ... Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, formerly known by various names including Hot Soul Singles, Hot Black Singles, and Hot R&B Singles (before the hip-hop term was added in the late 1990s), is a chart released weekly by Billboard in the United States. ... Hot Rap Tracks is a chart released weekly by Billboard in the United States. ...


References

  1. ^ a b Got Charts? Nas Lookin' To Grow Legs; Jay-Z Unplugs. Retrieved on August 19, 2006.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Cowie, Del. Nas: Battle Ready. Retrieved on April 1, 2006.
  3. ^ a b c Shecter, Jon. The Second Coming. The Source Issue 55 April 1994 pp 45, 46, 84. Retrieved on April 26, 2006.
  4. ^ a b Nas: The Genesis. MTV. Retrieved on August 16, 2006.
  5. ^ R.H.S.. A Queens Lineage: Mobb Deep - The Infamous. http://www.ohword.com. Retrieved on June 27, 2006.
  6. ^ a b Nas (Cached HTML). Artist Direct. Retrieved on April 16, 2006.
  7. ^ a b c d Hill, Marc. Illmatic [Anniversary Edition]. PopMatters. Retrieved on April 16, 2006.
  8. ^ Q (5/97, p.142). Retrieved on April 16, 2006.
  9. ^ a b Yew, Ben. Retrospect for Hip-Hop: A Golden Age on Record?. Proudflesh: A New Afrikan Journal of Culture, Politics & Consciousness. Retrieved on April 1, 2006.
  10. ^ Reeves, Mosi. Is New York hip-hop dead?. Retrieved on April 16, 2006.
  11. ^ a b Biography: Nas. http://www.ugo.com/. Retrieved on April 1, 2006.
  12. ^ 10 Essential Hip-Hop Albums - #1 Illmatic. Retrieved on 2007-05-16.
  13. ^ The Critics Top 100 Black Music Albums of All Time. Retrieved on August, 2006.
  14. ^ The Greatest Hip Hop Albums Of All Time. MTV. Retrieved on April 1, 2006.
  15. ^ The Greatest Story Never Told (Online Interview with Reginald C. Dennis). Retrieved on April 13, 2006.
  16. ^ a b c Heimlich, Adam. 2002, Hiphop's Year One: Nas, Mobb Deep and Wu-Tang Clan Face 9/11 (Online Article Column). The New York Press: Volume 15, Issue 4. Retrieved on April 1, 2006.
  17. ^ a b Huey, Steve. Illmatic Review. All Music Guide. Retrieved on April 16, 2006.
  18. ^ I Love 1994. Stylus Magazine. Retrieved on April 16, 2006.
  19. ^ a b Nas & Rakim: Meeting of The Kings (Online interview). MTV. Retrieved on May 5, 2006.
  20. ^ 2005 Pop Conference Bios/Abstracts. Retrieved on April 26, 2006.
  21. ^ Fruchter, Alex. Soundslam Interviews (Interview with SunN.Y.). http://www.soundslam.com. Retrieved on April 1, 2006.
  22. ^ Lunny, Hugo. Reef The Lost Cauze (Interview with Reef). http://www.mvremix.com. Retrieved on April 1, 2006.
  23. ^ Frederick, Brendan. Clipse The Untouchables. XXL magazine. Retrieved on December 2, 2006.
  24. ^ Reid, Shaheem. Mixtape Mondays: Chronicles of Junior Mafia. MTV. Retrieved on April 17, 2006.
  25. ^ Diaz, Ruben. 5 Minutes With Common. Retrieved on May 21, 2006.
  26. ^ Common. Retrieved on May 21, 2006.
  27. ^ TheBreaks.com album samples. Retrieved on August 14, 2006.

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Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 116th day of the year (117th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 91st day of the year (92nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 91st day of the year (92nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... A 2005 cover of XXL, featuring Snoop Dogg and The Game. ... is the 336th day of the year (337th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... This article is about the original U.S. music television channel. ... is the 107th day of the year (108th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 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Further reading

  • Alan Light; et al. (October 1999). The Vibe History of Hip Hop. Three Rivers Press. ISBN 0-609-80503-7. 
  • Kool Moe Dee.; Chuck D. (November 2003). There's a God on the Mic. Thunder's Mouth Press. ISBN 1-56025-533-1. 
  • Sacha Jenkins; et al. (December 1999). Ego Trip's Book of Rap Lists. St. Martin's Griffin, 352. ISBN 0-312-24298-0. 

Mohandas Dewese (born 8 August 1962), better known as Kool Moe Dee, was an American old-school rapper prominent in the late 1980s and early 90s. ... Carlton Douglas Ridenhour (born August 1, 1960), better known by his stage name Chuck D, is an American rapper, composer, actor, author, radio personality and producer. ...

External links

MusicBrainz (MusicBrainz. ...

Reviews

  • "Nas's Illmatic: A look at a hip hop masterpiece, ten years removed" — By Matthew Gasteier
  • Retro "QB" Classic: Nas - Illmatic — By George Hagan
  • Throwback Classic: Nas - Illmatic — By Michael Ivey
  • The Source: Record Report: Nas - Illmatic - By Shortie
For other uses, see Nas (disambiguation). ... It Was Written is the second album by Queensbridge rapper Nas. ... For the album by Japanese singer Ayumi Hamasaki, see I am. ... Nastradamus is the title of Nas fourth studio album for the Columbia Records label, released in November 1999, and is also one of his aliases. ... Singles from Stillmatic Released: 2001 Released: December 4, 2001 Released: April 16, 2002 Stillmatic is a hip hop album by Nas. ... Gods Son is the sixth studio album of new material by East Coast hip hop artist Nas. ... Streets Disciple is a double album by rapper Nas that was released on November 30, 2004 by Columbia Records. ... Hip Hop Is Dead is a 2006 album by American hip-hop artist Nas that was released on December 19, 2006. ... Nigger is the ninth studio album by rapper Nas. ... The Best of Nas is a compilation album from American rapper Nas. ... The Lost Tapes was the sixth album release by Queensbridge rapper Nas. ... Greatest Hits is a compilation album by rapper Nas released through Columbia Records on November 6, 2007. ... Nas and Ill Will Records Present QBs Finest was a 2000 collaborative album; the first release from rapper Nas new Ill Will Records imprint, distributed by Columbia Records. ... For other uses, see Half time (disambiguation). ... It Aint Hard To Tell is a 1994 hip hop single by Nas. ... Nas in The World Is Yours music video The World Is Yours is a 1994 single by Nas, from his debut album, Illmatic. ... For other uses, see Lifes a Bitch. ... One Love is a single by rapper Nas from his seminal album, Illmatic. ... If I Ruled The World (Imagine That) is a 1996 hit hip hop single by NaS featuring Lauryn Hill of The Fugees. ... Street Dreams is a 1996 single by American rapper Nas. ... The Message was a controversial single from rapper Nas second album It Was Written. ... Escobar 97 is a 1998 single by Nas on the soundtrack Men in Black: The Album. ... First single by Nas from his third album I Am. ... I am. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup, suggested by its AFD discussion. ... Analyze This is a song by Nas featuring Lord Tariq and Jay-Z on the B-side of a 12 single. ... This single from Nastradamus by NaS features R&B artist Ginuwine. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Got Ur Self A... is a single by rapper Nas. ... One Mic is the 2nd single from rapper Nas, from his fifth album, Stillmatic. ... Made You Look was the first single from Nas 2002 album, Gods Son. ... I Can is the second single from the Nas album, Gods Son. ... Get Down is the third and final single released from Nas Gods Son. ... Thiefs Theme is a single by Nas, taken from his double album, Streets Disciple. The UK edition of Streets Disciple features a remix of Thiefs Theme featuring Rising Son, a British rapper who beat off over 5000 entries in a competition held by Sony Records for the... The Song The 2nd single off of Nas Streets Disciple features his father. ... Just A Moment is the last single taken from the double album Streets Disciple by Nas. ... Hip Hop Is Dead is the first and title single taken from Nas 2006 album of the same name. ... Cant Forget About You is the second single from Nas 2006 album Hip Hop Is Dead, released on January 23, 2007. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Less Than an Hour is a 2007 song by rapper Nas and singer Cee-Lo, featured on the soundtrack to Rush Hour 3. ... This is a discography of records by Nas. ... The Bravehearts, on the cover of their debut album, Bravehearted. ... Ill Will Records is the Columbia Records imprint of rapper Nas. ... The feud between hip hop artists Nas and Jay-Z received public attention beginning in 2001 and ended in 2005. ... Video Anthology Vol. ...

  Results from FactBites:
 
Illmatic Online (188 words)
HIN Los Angeles proved to be a huge success for Illmatic and all its sponsors.
If you saw our website on any of our promotional items and are viewing this website for the first time, please take your time to peruse through all our sections and join our discussion forums.
All graphics and content are Copyright © Illmatic, 2003.
Nas . Nas's Illmatic A look at a hip-hop masterpiece, ten years removed [prefixmag feature] (1120 words)
For all of the typical hip-hop posturing and rightly deserved hubris that can be found on Illmatic and throughout Nas's early career, the album's lyrics are blissfully unaware of their contradictions, not to mention their importance.
The reason for this success is not that he exposed a snapshot of young fl men circa 1994, but what that snapshot reveals: a world outlook that tells us "life sucks so fuck it all," while still maintaining crew loyalties and fighting to survive.
In Illmatic, you find the meaning not just of hip-hop, but of music itself: the struggle of youth to retain its freedom, which is ultimately the struggle of man to retain his own essence.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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