Nas - Illmatic “I never sleep, cause sleep is the cousin of death”
It is the 25th Anniversary of Illmatic. This album is a true classic. Nas made his mark on the game with this. For much of his career he was considered to be one of the best emcees alive. Illmatic is what most people reference when making their case for Nas as a great. The runtime of this album is only 39 minutes. That’s a far cry from some of the album released around the same time with 22 tracks and 5 skits. This album is dense with no time for bullshit or fillers.
This album is great because of Nas and his lyrics/flow but also the production. If you don’t get juiced up when the beat drops on “New York State of Mind” you must be half-dead. It’s personally one of my favorite beats of all time (🙌 Primo). This album is a who’s who of legendary hip hop producers: Dj Premier, Q-Tip, Large Professor, Pete Rock, L.E.S. Beat historians will listen to each track and be able to name who produced the track. It’s a classic for them. Some of these producers were just getting into the mainstream scene at this time. This was their coming out party.
The sound on Illmatic inspired NYC hip hop artists for the last 25 years. There are New York albums that pull so many of these sounds even now. Listen to this and then Joey Bada$$, A$AP Rocky, Action Bronson, Wiki, MIKE. You’ll find similarities all over. Illmatic is undeniably New York City. Grimy, punchy, cocky, and real. It’s still super relevant to this day.
Illmatic is an all-time great hip hop album. Give it a spin.
Music Review: 9/10
Favorite Songs: “New York State of Mind” “The World is Yours” “One Love”
Packaging: This is a mass produced record. Album sleeve is the album cover art and pictures.
There are certain bands that divide families... in our house this is #sunno - in these circumstances it’s best to listen with headphones or in my case wait till the wife is out... and this is the only reason it’s taken me a week to find time to listen to one of my favourite #rsd2019 purchases #lifemetal , and I have to say it’s glorious, what a pairing of Sunn o))) and Steve Albini