#ThrowbackThursday: #Nas – #Illmatic (1994)


Track listing:

01. The Genesis (prod. by Nas & Faith N.; written by N. Jones & F. Braithwaite)

02. N.Y. State of Mind (prod. by DJ Premier; written by N. Jones & C. Martin)

03. Life’s a Bitch (feat. AZ) (prod. by L.E.S. & Nas; written by N. Jones, A. Cruz, O. Dara, R. Wilson & O. Scott)

04. The World Is Yours (prod. by Pete Rock; written by N. Jones & P. Phillips)

05. Halftime (prod. by Large Professor; written by N. Jones, W.P. Mitchell & G. Byrd)

06. Memory Lane (Sittin’ in da Park) (prod. by DJ Premier; written by N. Jones, C. Martin, R. Wilson & P. Barsella)

07. One Love (prod. by Q-Tip; written by N. Jones, J. Davis & J. Heath)

08. One Time 4 Your Mind (prod. by Large Professor; written by N. Jones & W.P. Mitchell)

09. Represent (prod. by DJ Premier; written by N. Jones & C. Martin)

10. It Ain’t Hard to Tell (prod. by Large Professor; written by N. Jones & W.P. Mitchell)

This week, we have another case of me paying homage to an album that I’ve always wanted to hear and never did until recently.  Okay…recently was actually yesterday lol but it feels like perfect timing with Illmatic‘s 20th Anniversary just a couple of days away.  Also, Nas’ debut album has been mentioned on numerous top albums lists over the last decade or so and gained further praise when Kendrick Lamar’s good kid, m.A.A.d city drew comparisons to it in 2012.  Clocking in at just under 40 minutes (making it the shortest rap album I’ve probably ever heard), the legendary lyricist packs so much imagery in the songs that I felt like I was in Queensbridge and other places in New York City circa the early ’90s.  Specifically, “The Genesis,” a genius introduction of dialogue among Nas and his peers, gives a clear idea of what everyday life what like at that time.  From there, each succeeding track is filled with raw honesty about the conditions leading up to “questionable” behavior as a means of survival.  Every song hear is a standout but “One Love”, an authentic offering in which the rapper updates a friend in prison, resonated with me the most.  To top it all off, the production and sampling by DJ Premier, Large Professor and others is immaculate and gives the overall album a gritty yet accessible feel.  If you haven’t already, give this masterpiece a listen or check out the latest remastered version, Illmatic XX, which came out two days ago.

Feel free to chime in with your thoughts on the album in the comments section 🙂


Posted by Brian Buchana (@dynasty86)
Powered by Dynasty Music Entertainment [DME]

The Hit Music Academy | 2014

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