Illmatic 30th Anniversary (Cassette)

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For the 30th Anniversary, Illmatic is being reissued on cassette with its original 10-panel fold-out J-card. 

Thirty years ago on April 19, 1994, Nasir "Nas" Jones dropped Illmatic which is regarded by many as the greatest hip-hop album of all time.  Before 1994, Nas (under the name "Nasty Nas") was rapping and making demo tapes with Large Professor, and in 1991 performed an unforgettable verse on Main Source's "Live at the Barbeque."  The next year Nas released "Halftime" for the Zebrahead soundtrack, another Large Pro cut, and signed a deal to record an album for Columbia Records.  Nas was being compared to one of the lyrical greats, Rakim, and the pressure was on to drop a debut album to top all rappers.  A dream team of hip-hop producers including DJ Premier, Large Professor, Q-Tip, Pete Rock, and L.E.S. was assembled to work on what would become the 5 Mic classic Illmatic. Not only did it establish Nas as the Best Rapper Alive in 1994, but it also raised the stakes for hip-hop production, lyrical technique, content, and overall artistic ambition. 

Illmatic is the crown jewel of the mid-90s classics that still define the genre. No filler, one intro, and 9 tracks of hip-hop perfection. Every song on this album matters. From Premier's masterful "N.Y State Of Mind" to the AZ-assisted "Life's A Bitch" and Pete Rock's piano-laced "The World Is Yours" Illmatic starts with a powerful trio of songs that easily could solidify this album as classic if it stopped right there. Other tracks such as "Memory Lane" and "One Love" show Nas focusing on his neighborhood and local legends that molded him into the person he was which made them all just as important to us. Large Professor delivers the album's first single "It Ain't Hard To Tell" while Premier delivers the album's certified street anthem "Represent". Serious to a fault, and lyrically dense to an extent that has possibly never been matched, the 20-year-old Nas stood on the shoulders of his predecessors and made them proud with this one.  Thirty years later the album stands the test of time, where time is truly illmatic. 


40 Side North
1. The Genesis 
2. N.Y. State Of Mind
3. Life's A Bitch feat AZ 
4. The World Is Yours 
5. Halftime 
41st Side South
1. Memory Lane (Sittin' In Da Park) 
2. One Love 
3. One Time 4 Your Mind 
4. Represent 
5. It Ain't Hard To Tell


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