April 19, 2017

Nas "Illmatic" (The Source Album Review, 1994)

Nas Illmatic Billboard "Hip-Hop Nostalgia"
Nas 5-mic review in The Source "Hip-Hop Nostalgia"

Ok, this is the last post (today) to celebrate the release of 'Illmatic' 23 years ago. Above is an original advert that ran in Billboard on May 21, 1994 -- those of us who were around back then remember that the 'Illmatic' sales didn't come close to matching the quality of the album nor the buzz the album had on the street. So, while they were celebrating its release and how many units were shipped and sold, the advert was mostly to remind people 'Yo, this really dope album is out here for you to BUY!' While we also agree that 'Illmatic' is a classic, it's Nas' sophomore album 'It Was Written' that is still his best-selling album with nearly double the sales of 'Illmatic.' Fans that are a few years younger than me actually prefer 'It Was Written,' and while they may not have been around to see cars get lit on fire in QB after it was released, I cannot argue that I don't love that album, too. Three posts later, I really only have one question: Why did Large Pro almost smack the shit (allegedly) out of MC Serch? What was that altercation about? I'm curious. Meanwhile, enjoy the original 5-mic review by Miss Info in The Source, and if you can dig up copies of 'Illmatic' on cassette, do it! To me, it's still the holy grail of hip-hop cassettes; a must-own! "Your mind races to keep up with Nas' lyricism, while your body dips to the beat. Lyrically, the whole shit is on point. No cliched metaphors, no gimmicks. Never too abstract, never superficial. Even the skit-intros are meaningful, and the album's only guest rapper, AZ, is dangerous in his own right. Nas is just the epitome of that "New York State of Mind" in terms of style and delivery." Well said Miss Info...

nas illmatic cassette "hip-hop nostalgia"