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Old 02-16-2011, 05:49 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Illmatic

Discussion thread for Nas - Illmatic album

A lot of you might know already that I'm a huge Nas fan. Call me a dick rider, fanboy, whatever, I don't care. I bring this thread to attention not just because it's my personal favorite, but because it's widely regarded as the best hip hop album ever. If nothing else, highly influential in hip hop. Of course many people disagree with that but I want to hear what you all think of it.

I'll start with my thoughts on the producers on this album, which is basically an all-time all-star lineup. The whole album is stacked with ridiculous beats. DJ Premier produced NY State of Mind, Represent, and Memory Lane. Pete Rock produced The World is Yours. Large Professor produced One Time 4 Your Mind, Halftime, and It Aint Hard to Tell. Q-Tip produced One Love.

I can't even pick a favorite song off this album. I'll listen to One Love and be like "Wow ok, that's definitely the best." But then I'll hear Halftime and change my mind. Then I'll listen to It Aint Hard to Tell and think the same thing. Unbelievably fluid and complex is how I'd describe Nas on this album, and in general as a rapper. There's a ton of street slang and Queensbridge references, but the rhyme schemes are so complex and smooth. He just keeps flowing, transitioning to another set of rhymes so easily using a ton of multi-syllable rhymes and internal rhyme patters. Early Nas is like the ultimate combo of street rap and intelligence. And he wrote and recorded it when he was 19-20 which is unreal. It's just one of those albums that is timeless to me and a true classic. Post favorite songs, verses, and lyrics if you want and just discuss your thoughts on Illmatic. I know some disagree, but it's one of those albums that can never be over rated in my opinion. Every single track is killer.


One Love is probably my favorite. Sick Q-Tip beat.



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Old 02-16-2011, 11:23 AM   #2 (permalink)
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NY State Of Mind is an amazing song but I am a bit of a Gang Starr fanboy so maybe I am biased. This album is a little overrated and I think I actually prefer Distant Relatives which I will be hearing live next month.
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Old 02-16-2011, 11:38 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Probably one of the best debut albums in the history of recorded music, all hyperbole aside. Honestly, the lyrical complexity and depth of metaphor Nas shows on his first showing is astonishing considering he was only 21 when Illmatic was released. Truly one of the best examples of the Golden Age of Hip Hop we have.

I've got class in 20 but I'll be back on the late to delve further into this thread, ya dig?
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Old 02-16-2011, 11:40 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I agree with James about Illmatic being overrated. It's not a bad album but I do find myself hitting the skip button frequently while listening to it. The rapping is pretty good throughout but the songs themselves are kind of hit-or-miss for me.
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Old 02-16-2011, 11:43 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anticipation View Post
Truly one of the best examples of the Golden Age of Hip Hop we have.
Seems a little bit too late to be a Golden Age album to me. I've certainly never regarded it as part of that era.
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Old 02-16-2011, 11:49 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janszoon View Post
Seems a little bit too late to be a Golden Age album to me. I've certainly never regarded it as part of that era.
This certainly doesn't end the conversation, but the album is mentioned on the Golden Age wiki entry:

Golden age hip hop - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 02-16-2011, 11:51 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Violent & Funky View Post
This certainly doesn't end the conversation, but the album is mentioned on the Golden Age wiki entry:

Golden age hip hop - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
It's only mentioned in the part that talks about "a second golden age".
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Old 02-16-2011, 11:53 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Because Wikipedia is the greatest source of reliable info.
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Old 02-16-2011, 11:53 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janszoon View Post
It's only mentioned in the part that talks about "a second golden age".
That's what I get for skimming. :/

I'll get you someday!

Also, I own like ten hip-hop albums and this is easily one of my favorites, right there with A Tribe Called Quest and Eminem. I agree with Dirty that it is the perfect mix of "street" and "smart"...
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Old 02-16-2011, 11:54 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I don't think Golden Age has like a definite set of years. Early to mid 90s was just awesome though.

Only songs I ever even consider skipping on Illmatic for a second are One Time 4 Your Mind and sometimes NY State Of Mind. I don't love that song like I love the others... Also, AZ was the only guy to feature on Illmatic and he straight murders his verse on Life a Bitch
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