Illmatic XX [20th Anniversary Edition]

Illmatic XX [20th Anniversary Edition]

by Nas
     
 

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Often cited as one of the best hip-hop albums of the '90s, Illmatic is the undisputed classic upon which Nas' reputation rests. It helped spearhead the artistic renaissance of New York hip-hop in the post-Chronic era, leading a return to street aesthetics. Yet even if Illmatic marks the beginning of a

Overview

Often cited as one of the best hip-hop albums of the '90s, Illmatic is the undisputed classic upon which Nas' reputation rests. It helped spearhead the artistic renaissance of New York hip-hop in the post-Chronic era, leading a return to street aesthetics. Yet even if Illmatic marks the beginning of a shift away from Native Tongues-inspired alternative rap, it's strongly rooted in that sensibility. For one, Nas employs some of the most sophisticated jazz-rap producers around: Q-Tip, Pete Rock, DJ Premier, and Large Professor, who underpin their intricate loops with appropriately tough beats. But more importantly, Nas takes his place as one of hip-hop's greatest street poets -- his rhymes are highly literate, his raps superbly fluid regardless of the size of his vocabulary. He's able to evoke the bleak reality of ghetto life without losing hope or forgetting the good times, which become all the more precious when any day could be your last. As a narrator, he doesn't get too caught up in the darker side of life -- he's simply describing what he sees in the world around him, and trying to live it up while he can. He's thoughtful but ambitious, announcing on "N.Y. State of Mind" that "I never sleep, 'cause sleep is the cousin of death," and that he's "out for dead presidents to represent me" on "The World Is Yours." Elsewhere, he flexes his storytelling muscles on the classic cuts "Life's a Bitch" and "One Love," the latter a detailed report to a close friend in prison about how allegiances within their group have shifted. Hip-hop fans accustomed to 73-minute opuses sometimes complain about Illmatic's brevity, but even if it leaves you wanting more, it's also one of the few '90s rap albums with absolutely no wasted space. Nas is a great lyricist, in top form, meeting great production, and Illmatic remains a perennial favorite among serious hip-hop fans. [The 2014, "XX" version of Illmatic comes with an extra disc featuring demos, remixes, and radio appearances. The remixes come right from a run of 12"s released between 1992 and 1994, making them a valuable addition for archivists. Hardcore fans will be most interested in the unreleased cut "I'm a Villain" along with Nas' appearance on the Stretch Armstrong and Bobbito Show which comes straight of the WKCR radio airwaves, circa 1993.]

Product Details

Release Date:
04/15/2014
Label:
Sony Legacy
UPC:
0886974395423
catalogNumber:
743954
Rank:
28555

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Nas   Primary Artist
AZ   Vocals
Olu Dara   Trumpet
Darren Lighty   Keyboards
Mike Tyler   Guitar
Sadat   Vocals
Kevin Bentz   Strings,Keyboards
Ken Staton   Vocals

Technical Credits

Def Jef   Remixing
Godfather Don   Remixing
MC Serch   Original Executive Producer
Olu Dara   Composer
Nas   Producer,Concept
Afrika Bambaataa   Liner Notes
Creators   Remixing
DJ Premier   Producer
J. Davis   Composer
LG Experience   Remixing
Large Professor   Producer
Q-Tip   Producer,Remixing,Additional Production
Kevin Reynolds   Engineer
Eddie Sancho   Engineer
Jamey Staub   Engineer
Jason Vogel   Engineer
Stan Wallace   Engineer
Meech Wells   Remixing
Pete Rock   Producer
L.E.S.   Producer
Stretch Armstrong   Producer
Tom Burleigh   Product Development Director
Sacha Jenkins   Liner Notes
Si Spex   Remixing
Jo Di Donato   Art Direction
Noah Uman   Reissue Producer
F. Wesley   Composer
6'9"   Composer
Peg Barsella   Composer
N. Wilson   Composer
James Loving   Producer
T. Latham   Engineer
P. Phillips   Composer
P. Mitchell   Composer
B. Garcia   Composer
O. Scott   Composer
W.P. Mitchell   Composer
Faith Newman   Original Executive Producer
J. Heath   Composer
Nasir Jones   Executive Producer
Vic Padilla   Remixing
Juliano   Remixing
Faith N   Concept
Joe "the Butcher" Nicolo   Producer
Dave Scratch   Remixing
Lia Leone   Photo Courtesy
Ralph Milan Jones   Photo Courtesy

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