Illmatic [Explicit Lyrics]

( 12 )

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Steve Huey
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 ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Steve Huey
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. Illmatic reveals a great lyricist in top form meeting great production, and it remains a perennial favorite among serious hip-hop fans.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 4/15/1994
  • Label: Columbia Europe
  • EAN: 5099747595912
  • Catalog Number: 4759591
  • Sales rank: 20,034

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Nas Primary Artist, Vocals
AZ Vocals
Olu Dara Trumpet
Technical Credits
MC Serch Executive Producer
Nas Composer, Producer
DJ Premier Composer, Producer
Diego Garrido Engineer
Large Professor Producer
Tim "The Funky Red" Lathem Engineer
Q-Tip Producer
Kevin Reynolds Engineer
Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth Producer
Eddie Sancho Engineer
Jamey Staub Engineer
Jason Vogel Engineer
Stan Wallace Engineer
Pete Rock Composer, Producer
L.E.S. Producer
Anton "Sample This" Pushansky Engineer
Jo Di Donato Art Direction
Jonathan Davis Composer
William Paul Mitchell Composer
O. Scott Composer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 12 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(12)

4 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 12 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A reviewer

    the dopest album nas ever did. he got it for for this album now why didn't he get a grammy

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Best rap album period

    nas is rough, rugged, real, and emotional on his debut. i bought this cd in '98 and i still have yet to take it out of my system. be it my car, my room, whatever, its been bumpin for seven years for a reason. ill never get tired of illmatic, nor have i ever heard such amazing lyrics/poetry/production/beats.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    U Kno Wut Nas Is Like U Play It In Ur System Ery Nite

    THIS IS A CLASSIC !!! LYRICS ARE "ILL"MATIC SON...BEATS ARE "ILL"MATIC SON... WIT DJ PREMIER & NAS U CANT GO WRONG "IT AINT HARD TO TELL" THAT THIS ALBUM BROUGHT THE EAST COAST BACC... IF U DONT HAVE THIS U MISSIN OUT ON GOOD MUZIK

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    you already know

    this is definatly a classic as you already know. nas only had 10 songs on here cuase he made sure all ten were hot id rather go 10 for 10 the like 8 for 16 ya feel me. halftime might just be my favorite joint along with N.Y. state of mind. Almost every song in itself on this album is known as a classic. dont call yourself a hip hop head if u dont have this cd. or unless for some reason u hate nas.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    The Finest

    Nas's 1994 debut is the finest concoction of music to reach my ears. The opening skit sets the mood. Thereafter, all tracks except one are stellar. My personal favorite is "World Is Yours", produced by Pete Rock. The low point of Illmatic is average. "One Time 4 Your Mind" is a solid track, but lacks the energy of it's peers. Any other track can be argued as a classic. Some cuts, such as "Life's A B****", are undeniably classic. I recommend this to anyone with the ability to comprehend sound.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    This Is Real Hip Hop

    Yo, I come from London and I was born in 1986 so I missed the golden era of hip hop. Nowadays all Mc's do is rhyme about their paper, hoes etc but this album is my favourite. lyrics are chillin, relaxed and real with the beats bangin. im a rapper aswell, 16 at the moment,so when i look for album inspirations i look at illmatic. Slammmmmmiiiinnn.........

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    The BEST Rap Album of All Time!

    This is an album that towers above all others. It is lyrically untouchable in the rap industry. Infact, I think there is no other rap album that even comes remotely close to Illmatic. Nas, with his great storytelling ability, portrays the life of a man growing up in Queens and the hardships he goes through. This album is basically a life story. The second track, which I like best (N.Y. State of Mind), was written by Nas when he was only 17. I have listened to this album over 200 times and I still enjoy every track just the same. If you are a fan of real, true rap, this album is a necessity. Don't waste your money or your time on rappers that talk about their cars, jewels, and girls, because anybody could talk about that and make money these days. Illmatic, however is the truest album out there. If I were not limited to 5 stars, I would give this album as many as possible. A definite buy!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Raw, nasty, straight flows

    This is one album you can listen to straight through, every track is sick, the rhymes aren't corny, but make you think to decipher them sometimes, excellent beats to go with the great delivery, timing, and rhymes of NAS.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    THE GREASTEST

    You know when an album is unbelievably astounding when you remember exactly where you were when you first heard it. I remember at the age of 12 sitting outside at the corner store and hearing someone play ''Life's a B****'' and I was simply amazed. This is one album that is definitely in my top five of all time.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Representin' is ILLMATIC

    From the very rare and hard to achieve 5 mic award in The Source Magazine to being hailed as the second coming of Rakim, Nas had achieved the very rare status of the complete package. Lyrically at this point in his career he painted vivid pictures of street life not heard since Rakim, assembled some of the top producers in the game to give him some of the rawest tracks, all the while establishing the utmost street credibility. Not just one ALL tracks stand out as classics and established Illmatic along with 36 Chambers from Wu, Biggie's Ready to Die, ATCQ's Midnight Marauders and Black Moon's Enta Da Stage as legit artists who brought creditbility back to the East.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    IF ONLY ALL MUSIC WAS THIS DOPE

    Very few rappers have ever reached the level lyrically that Nas was on when he did Illmatic. It's not that Nas has lost his skills, but this album is his defining work like the Superfly Score was for Curtis Mayfield. Nas was just raw when he debuted, and the hunger was there.He had the perfect production from Primo, Pete Rock, and Large Professor and the perfect flow. Maybe Nas should return to his first crop of producers instead of using the average Trackmaster's production.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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