January 21, 2015

Nas "Illmatic: Most Overlooked Album" (The Source, 1/98)

"We hate to say it, but The Source told you so. It's time to recognize and realize that Illmatic is a classic, kiko. Before the pop crowd jumped on Nas' "If I Ruled The World," steez, real hip-hop heads knew the hidden jew-elz to be found on this propitious opus. With DJ Premier, Large Professor, L.E.S., Pete Rock and Q-Tip providing a subtle but engaging production framework, Nas' luminous lyrics and brilliant narratives remain cemented in the minds of many listeners. This record is hip-hop in its purest form. Subtly dynamic, songs like the jailhouse dedication "One Love," the freestyle bravado of "Represent" and the vivid "New York State of Mind," helped bring Nas' politics acclaim to the point where people were quick to compare him to the god Rakim. Along with the work of fellow soloists The Notorious B.I.G. and Jeru The Damaja, Illmatic also helped bring respect back to the New York rap scene and implanted a foundation that would allow Nas to later reap the benefits of his indubitable artistry." - The Source, "Most Overlooked Album." (January, 1998).