Nas: Illmatic (1994)

“Life’s a bitch and then you die…”

I’ve heard that this was one of the most essential hip hop albums of all time, but I’d never actually listened to the thing from start to finish. This is actually the album that sparked the idea for this blog.

Illmatic is gritty. I don’t remember these tracks like I remember C.R.E.A.M. or Gimme the Loot or All Eyez On Me. It doesn’t remind me of a particular time period the way The Chronic reminds me of High School. But maybe that’s on me. I’m listening to this with a fresh perspective in 2015, and I can feel the words. They just don’t make albums like this anymore.

Illmatic flows like a documentary. It’s short, and it moves forward without stopping for anyone. It’s like the musical equivalent of Pulp Fiction or Shawshank — a true classic from the early 90s that doesn’t fade with time.

Suited For: Introspection

Appropriate Playback Device: Discman



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