Illmatic: Hip-Hop Masterpiece

25 Feb


This is hands down the best rap album of all-time.

I have been a hip-hop fan for all my short life and there are so many great albums. I may eventually do a similar piece on albums like ‘Paid in Full’ and ‘ATLiens’ but nothing touches this.  You cannot be a true hip-hop fan if you don’t appreciate the brilliance of this album.


Nas released this album on the 19th April 1994. When it was released he was 21 but started writing it at a mere 19 years of age. The rise of Death Row Records and its west-coast gangster rap had left the east-cost (more specifically NYC) desperately searching for a momentum shifter. Two albums caused this shift towards the East-coast and New York became the epicentre of hip-hop once more. One was Enter the Wu Tang (36 Chambers) and the other was this very album, Nas’s Illmatic. This led to a stream of superb albums from east coast rappers.


Nas is a street poet and he realistically portrays the life of Queensbridge but always maintains an aura of hope and belief. It is incredible that at 19-21 years of age he can rhyme with such maturity and effortless poetry.His deep self-analysis, charistmatic narrations and cunning observations give in some ways a soft vibe to serious topic matters.

This album further shows that young rappers do not need to collaborate with superstars create a classic record. I do not want to hear any other voice than Nas on this album. When there are other contributors it is simple, subtle and fits the style of this classic album.

Thus, I have decided to do a day-by-day song-by-song dissection beginning with ‘The Genesis’

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1 Comment

Posted by on February 25, 2011 in Hip Hop


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One response to “Illmatic: Hip-Hop Masterpiece

  1. Pep

    February 26, 2011 at 8:38 PM



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