Time sure does fly when you create a timeless hip hop album. Nas dropped a masterpiece 25 years ago today that changed the whole hip hop game, and left a mark on everyone. Illmatic is an album that is considered life changing, and full of story telling.
At the time of Illmatic being released, Nas was only 20 years old and was on a path to being one of the biggest faces in Hip Hop. He considered himself the Charles Dickens of Hip-Hop, and, you really can’t disagree with him on that. With songs like “It Aint Hard To Tell”, “N.Y. State of Mind” and “The World Is Yours”, it was proven to be true that the 20 year old is and was a true poet and storyteller.
Nas could tell stories in a way that would make the streets listen, and he could express himself in a way that no one has before. He found a way to get through to the people in his hometown, and while doing that, he became a very big influence in Queensbridge, and in New York all together. If someone asked for an example of what true New York hip hop sounds like, then a copy of Illmatic should be handed to them
Lets give some light to the people that were responsible for making this magic happen along side Nas. Illmatic was executive produced by Faith Newman, other producers that worked on the album as well are DJ Premier, Pete Rock, Q-Tip, Large Professor and L.E.S. He began recording in 1992 at Chung King Studios, D&D Recording, Battery Studios, and Unique Recording studios, all in the New York City area. Everything about this album is New York, all the way from the artist down to the producers.
The album sales for Illmatic were lower than what the label was expecting, but Nas still got his praise for this album. Music critics all over the world were praising the production of this album and Nas’s incredible lyricism and storytelling. With this album, Nas proved that all success doesn’t have to come from the commercial success. As long as you touch the people, you’re doing the right thing.