Illmatic

Label
Columbia
Release date
2012
Running length
20 tracks
Running time
79:28

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Tracklist

    Track     Duration Listeners
1 The Genesis 1:45 255,865
1 The Genesis (Explicit Album Version) 1:45 2,850
2 N.Y. State of Mind 4:54 417,191
2 N.Y. State Of Mind (Explicit Album Version) 4:54 3,340
3 Life's a Bitch 3:30 271,110
3 Life's A Bitch (Explicit Album Version) 3:30 2,153
4 The World Is Yours (Explicit Album Version) 4:50 2,686
4 The World Is Yours 4:50 372,528
5 Halftime (Explicit Album Version) 4:20 2,381
5 Halftime 4:20 289,892
6 Memory Lane (Sittin' in da Park) 4:08 211,387
6 Memory Lane (Sittin' In Da Park) (Explicit Album Version) 4:08 3,913
7 One Love 5:25 279,035
7 One Love (Explicit Album Version) 5:25 1,498
8 One Time 4 Your Mind 3:18 203,601
8 One Time 4 Your Mind (Explicit Album Version) 3:18 2,038
9 Represent 4:12 252,480
9 Represent (Explicit Album Version) 4:12 2,530
10 It Ain't Hard to Tell 3:22 330,671
10 It Ain't Hard To Tell (Explicit Album Version) 3:22 1,254

About this album

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.

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  • mangethegamer

    It's insane how good this album is!

    25 Jan 12:03am Reply
  • TheSuperCrasher

    I don't think I'll ever get over how perfect this album is. It's a full-blown 40-minute orgasm, all killer no filler.

    7 Jan 10:16pm Reply
  • UNITY_fm

    This will forever be my favorite English rap album. Flawless from start to finish.

    7 Jan 9:07am Reply
  • Quantum_Satis

    Fabulous!

    5 Nov 2014 Reply
  • alefspfc

    the bible of hip-hop

    6 Aug 2014 Reply
  • Harry_01

    Fantastic album.

    27 Jul 2014 Reply
  • LosTico

    Уххххх!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!111

    6 Jun 2014 Reply
  • ThingsThatRhyme

    Bladecatcher- would definitely be a great addition to my collection as well. Just to hear Life's A Bitch

    27 May 2014 Reply
  • Bladecatcher_

    Ordered this album on LP a couple days ago. Can't wait for it to come in!

    26 May 2014 Reply
  • Gaffes

    20 years for a classic.

    19 Apr 2014 Reply
  • jdotperiod

    A rear perfect 10.

    18 Apr 2014 Reply
  • blustarent

    timeless classic [4]

    3 Apr 2014 Reply
  • Joseephhh

    The Greatest

    31 Mar 2014 Reply
  • FrameBuster

    This is truly one of the best rap albums ever made and one of the few that aren't clustered with skits, fillers and other bullshit. 40 flawless minutes - perfect!

    30 Mar 2014 Reply
  • bkelleher

    Not easily..

    19 Mar 2014 Reply
  • fank19

    Easily the best hip-hop album ever.

    5 Feb 2014 Reply
  • DickBigems

    He can't live up to this album because he's trying too hard? That's probably the exact opposite of why he hasn't "lived up" to this album. And suggesting that Nas lost his creativity after this album is pretty ridiculous.

    23 Jan 2014 Reply
  • Kynlyn

    I can't download off this can i

    14 Jan 2014 Reply
  • calebthecunt

    He made a great album because he wasn't trying. Nas continually fails to live up to this because he constantly tries to live up to it. Trying is the death of creativity.

    6 Jan 2014 Reply
  • shadow_-play

    holy

    27 Nov 2013 Reply
  • All 416 shouts

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