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Illmatic

Nas

1994

Illmatic

Album Summary

Illmatic is the debut studio album by American rapper Nas. It was released on April 19, 1994, by Columbia Records. After signing with the label with the help of MC Serch, Nas recorded the album in 1992 and 1993 at Chung King Studios, D&D Recording, Battery Studios, and Unique Recording Studios in New York City. The album's production was handled by DJ Premier, Large Professor, Pete Rock, Q-Tip, L.E.S., and Nas himself. Styled as a hardcore hip hop album, Illmatic features multi-syllabic internal rhymes and inner-city narratives based on Nas' experiences growing up in the Queensbridge Houses in Queens, New York City. The album debuted at number 12 on the US Billboard 200 chart, selling 63,000 copies in its first week. However, its initial sales fell below expectations and its five singles failed to achieve significant chart success. Despite the album's low initial sales, Illmatic received rave reviews from most music critics, who praised its production and Nas' lyricism. On January 17, 1996, the album was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America, and on December 11, 2001, it earned a platinum certification after shipping 1,000,000 copies in the United States. As of February 6, 2019, the album had sold 2 million copies in the United States. Since its initial reception, Illmatic has been recognized by writers and music critics as a landmark album in East Coast hip hop. Its influence on subsequent hip hop artists has been attributed to the album's production and Nas' lyricism. It also contributed to the revival of the New York City rap scene, introducing a number of stylistic trends to the region. The album is widely regarded as one of the greatest and most influential hip hop albums of all time, appearing on numerous best album lists by critics and publications. Billboard wrote in 2015 that "Illmatic is widely seen as the best hip-hop album ever". In 2020, the album was ranked by Rolling Stone at number 44 on its list of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, and in 2021, it was selected by the Library of Congress for preservation in the National Recording Registry for being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".

Wikipedia

Rating

3.62

Votes

5529

Genres

  • Hip Hop
Reviews
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Fri Jun 11 2021
5

An absolute classic If hip-hop is supposed to be a window into the streets, ILLMATIC sounds, feels, and even fucking SMELLS like NYC in the '90s. When the war against the Disney-fication of NY was still being waged. By 1994 hip-hop was nationwide but Nas grabbed the mantle and brought it back home.

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Fri Mar 19 2021
4

So, I never really listened to Nas much before today. And I'm decently versed with most hiphop. Nas just never really appealed to me, though. Luckily for me, this project is forcing me to listen to things that don't appeal to me because Nas really IS an extremely talented rapper. His rhyme game is on point. The constantly interweaving internal rhyme schemes are out of control and really unexpected for an east-coast act in '94. According to the wiki article, it kinda started with him. Well, thanks Nas. Docked a star because, while the lyricism is off the chain, the content is ... repetitive and shallow (though still better than 99% of the east-coast rap of the time).

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Tue Nov 30 2021
5

Album #1 Although I've rinsed this album from start to finish many times when it came up as the first one to listen to I was more than happy to dive in again. There is nothing I can say about how great this album is that hasn't already been said by droves of people far more qualified than me. If anyone who doesn't listen to much hip-hop asks me where they should start, this is the first album I point them to. Few albums receive the privilege of acting as a benchmark for their genre, and that is exactly what Illmatic does for hip-hop. This benchmark applied even more so in '94 when the genre was still young and proving itself. On Illmatic, everything comes together perfectly. From the soulful yet raw beats to the poignant yet infectiously addictive flows. They work in tandem to weave a story of a city frozen at a point in time and one young man's place within it. Favourite Track: Memory Lane (Sittin' in da Park) Least Favourite Track: N/A

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Wed May 05 2021
1

I ain't got time for this, know what I'm sayin'?

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Wed Dec 30 2020
5

One of the best hip hop albums I've ever listened to, the beats are real crisp, the samples and scratches are mega cool, and the vocals are just amazing, this is a must for every hip hop fan out there

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Fri Jun 18 2021
5

Greatest Hip/Hop album of all time, not much else to say about it.

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Fri Oct 15 2021
5

Absolutely fantastic and an obvious classic. This album paints such vivid pictures of New York that it feels like a movie. Beats, rapping, flows, storytelling, everything is about as good as it can be. Insane record.

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Tue Oct 26 2021
5

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion about music, and this includes Illmatic. But I hold strongly that Nas's debut album, Illmatic, is the greatest and most important hip-hop album of all time. I cannot and will not dispute this. It goes hard. The sampling and the beats, Nas's flow on each song, the lyrics, the whole product. It's the combination of Boom Bap production with hardcore lyrics and flow. But the lyrics aren't just braggadocious or tough, they're a reflection of reality. Nas was born in Brooklyn and grew up in Queens, later dropping out of school and fully immersing himself in music. Nas, of course, is a natural wordsmith and lyricist. His cadence along with the depth of the bars elevates the art of rap to a multi-dimensional instrument. Each song stands on their own, you can tell that love and care went into the album as a whole. It is not a product of commerce, but of passion. Incredibly impactful and insanely catchy, Illmatic is an all-timer.

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Thu Jan 06 2022
5

It's Illmatic by Nas. The best rap album of all time. Nas's lyrics are so slick that they slide off his tongue and spread like an oil spill in your brain, and the beats from the best craftsmen in the game (QTip, Large Professor, Premier, Pete Rock, L.E.S.) back him up so perfectly that they feel like a part of him, a natural extension of his craft. The album might honestly have the best three song run in hip-hop history. It should be illegal to follow New York State of Mind with Life's a Bitch and The World Is Yours, and the album never stops from there. Poignant slice of life tales on Memory Lane and One Love give the album an emotional through line and enhance the heady blend of ambition and apathy, power and weakness, joy and tragedy that defines the life of Nasty Nas. Represent is similarly incredible, with a hungry and passionate Nas giving it his all. It Ain't Hard to Tell, One Time 4 Your Mind, and Halftime are the only "subpar" tracks, meaning that they're 8/10 instead of perfect 10s and above like the rest of the record, but they all deliver standout moments and are probably the favorites of many listeners. This album is a touchstone of hip-hop, as Nas's measured, neverending flow and poignant, deadly lyrical skills either directly or indirectly inspired B.I.G., a future rival in Jay-Z, and countless other rappers. His lines have been reused countless times, and every contemporary hoping to make his or her bones in the game pays homage at some point to the album. It isn't rap's most important album, but it's the best there ever was.

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Mon Jan 31 2022
5

One of the best albums ever made and the album that got me into hip-hop. even the opener skit is one of the best skits ever made. razer sharp flows, inventive rhyme schemes, dusty beats and some of the best storytelling in music history. Nas basically became a GOAT contender right out of the gate. Of course the all star cast of boom bap producers played a huge part in the seamless, timeless quality of this record too

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Thu Jul 14 2022
5

Straight out of the dungeons of rap. An exploration of rap poetry that defines a decade. Superb sampling. Lyrical mastery. Raw realism. One of the greatest albums ever made.

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Sat Jul 16 2022
5

I was only marginally familiar with Nas and never had taken the time to listen to a full album before this was suggested. Really well done all around. Half way through, it hit me how much of A Tribe Called Quest vibe I was feeling, so I was not shocked but deeply satisfied to see Q-tip had a big hand with the album. This will definitely be on regular rotation for me. “Midnight Maurauders” by A Tribe Called Quest kept the groove flowing after listening to Nas.

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Thu Aug 04 2022
5

Best Song: N.Y. State of Mind. That low, droning melody that repeats throughout the song is so iconic, and Nas is on another level through the whole track. Worst Song: Life's a Bitch. It's not a terrible song, but maybe a bit overplayed in movies, and it has this spirit of nihilism that I feel very much is not fitting with the rest of the album. Overall: I mean, this is maybe as good as it gets in this genre of rap. Great flow, great features. There's a reason it's considered such a classic. Sure, there are a few slurs that haven't aged well, but I don't think that's enough to sink what is otherwise such a thoughtful and iconic album.

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Fri Aug 19 2022
5

A stark and brutal portrait of Queensbridge in the early 1990s. Nas absolutely raps his ass off like he knows this could be his ticket out. He tells stories at such a rapid clip that it was hard for me to keep up at times and that he wrote this at 20 years old is simply astounding. The eerie beats enhance the mood of this album and parallel the lyrics well (the sample of "human nature" at the end of this album was fun to hear so close to Thriller though the context was completely different). I'm fairly confident there is no Kendrick Lamar without this album, as I lots that likely influenced Kendrick here.

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Tue Aug 23 2022
5

Illmatic is a contender for the greatest rap album of all time, the greatest debut album of all time, and overall, just one of the greatest albums of all time. Nas has one of the greatest flows in the game and his complex structure featuring internal rhymes make this album a rhythmic treat for the ears. His lyrics are thoughtful and he is an absolute wordsmith, playing with language in a way that only the very best writers can. His beats are lush jazz based east coast beats that represent the very best of New York hip hop. I find myself favoring east coast rap from the '90s and this is certainly amongst the cream of that crop.

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Tue May 31 2022
3

I was really unaware of this album, or the history of it or Nas. Maybe he is too cerebral for mass consumption or radio play? His lyrics and rap rhythm are masterclass. But I found the album boring; it all ran together. No doubt he has different beats and samples but moving from song to song there wasn't one thing I could really point to in one that made it stand out from another one. The album works but once I walk away from it, there's nothing particularly memorable to bring me back.

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Tue May 03 2022
2

Listened to on 5/2/22 2.5/5 Favorite song: halftime, it ain’t too hard to tell Things I like about this album: the naming of songs (genesis, halftime) but it’s truly just not my vibe although I liked it better than most hip hop/rap albums

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Mon Jan 25 2021
1

Didn’t like it - too hardcore for me.

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Thu Jan 14 2021
1

Too aggressive. I’m not a fan personally

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Fri Jul 16 2021
1

Yo… yo… yo… yo… motherfunsters! Nah. Not for me.

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Fri Feb 26 2021
1

Nah...

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Mon Jan 25 2021
1

Only thirty seconds. I don't like this style

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Tue Jan 26 2021
1

tria una

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Sat Feb 06 2021
1

If I never hear this again I will die happy.

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Tue Mar 30 2021
1

Rap... not my style.

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Wed Aug 25 2021
1

Meh, more rap

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Tue Oct 19 2021
1

Not my cup of tea

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Tue Dec 07 2021
1

I don't like exactly this rap

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Sat Jan 01 2022
1

Why was this not considered gangster rap? I read it supposedly show the NYC rap scene as still relevant compared to the West Coast scene of "gangsta rap". But the lyrical content seems basically the same.

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Wed Jan 20 2021

2

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Thu Jan 07 2021
5

Not really much to say about this classic slice of east coast hip hop except how ace it is. Top 5 hip hop off all time

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Thu Oct 01 2020
5

Wish I'd listened to it before now

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Mon Oct 05 2020
5

ok basically back on schedule now! been putting this album off for a while because tbh i was scared i wouldnt "get it" (hip hop is still not quite my genre of choice) but nah this bangs. mr nas raps way too fast for me to get everything hes saying but like the rapping is great and the beats are also really good so who cares? and when i can make out the lyrics theyre pretty great. lifes a bitch is basically perfect. not every beat hits it outta the park for me (one love) but its still fairly consistent just bc nas is really fucking good the entire time. dont get the love for the genesis though. feels like a bit of a superfluous intro. mayb i simply dont get it.

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Wed Sep 30 2020
5

1994. Key Songs: Life's a Bitch, N.Y State of Mind, Halftime, One Love

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Wed Sep 30 2020
5

Instant classic, from the day it was released. Not a bad track on here. Best hip-hop album of all-time? Best album of all-time?

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Mon Sep 28 2020
5

one of the most flawless albums of all time

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Wed Jan 13 2021
5

One of the GOATs

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Wed Nov 11 2020
5

Fantastic album through and through, one of my all-time favorites.

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Wed Jan 13 2021
5

Nas was 19 when he wrote this album - the talent. This was the beginning of east coast rap as it is today. Thank you Nas! Side note, I saw him play most of this album at Gov Ball in 2013.

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Wed Jan 13 2021
5

heard many times - my personal number 1 rap album of all time.

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Fri Jan 15 2021
5

A true hip-hop classic. One of the top ten greatest rap albums ever conceived. .

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Tue Jun 01 2021
5

There's just something about this type of old-school rap that's so easy to listen to

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Mon Jan 18 2021
5

Old School Rap. Rootz!

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Wed Jan 27 2021
5

Album pilier du rap américain Excellente production Des flows incroyables Intemporel

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Mon Jan 18 2021
5

fantastic

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Tue Feb 16 2021
5

perfectly balanced and smooth. as good as rap gets. fav track: it ain’t hard to tell

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Wed Jan 13 2021
5

One of the best. Collabs are on point. I feel like this is the transition album between old school and new school.

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Sat Feb 13 2021
5

Straight fire. I see where a Nas has influenced a ton of rappers. Beats were great.

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Sat Feb 13 2021
5

Love this album

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Mon May 17 2021
5

Absolutely classic

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Sat Jan 23 2021
5

Classic hip hop. Great album

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Fri Jan 15 2021
5

I see why this is a classic. The beats. The samples. Nas has a great flow and great word play.

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Tue Mar 02 2021
5

No notes necessary

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Wed Jan 13 2021
5

Probably a top 10 rap album all time. Nas is one of the great storytellers and wordsmiths of rap with a buttery smooth flow. Love this album.

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Wed Jan 27 2021
5

Honestly didn’t even listen to it for this.

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Sun May 02 2021
5

El mejor disco de hiphop de todos los tiempos, dicen. One Time 4 Your Mind

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Fri Jan 22 2021
5

Not usually a big rap listener, but I really enjoyed this album. Great beats and lyrics.

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Tue Mar 30 2021
5

GOATED

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Thu Apr 01 2021
5

its illmatic, one of the best rap albums ever

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Tue May 04 2021
5

One of the greatest albums of all time. One of my personal faves and overall flawless. Lots of nostalgia everytime I hear a song from this album. Lyricism is amazing!

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Mon Jun 28 2021
5

Simply one of the greatest albums ever, hip-hop or otherwise.

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Sun May 30 2021
5

Oh man, what an album! One of the best hip-hop records of all time! Even if you don’t like hip-hop this is worth a listen.

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Wed May 12 2021
5

"I rap for listeners, blunt heads, fly ladies and prisoners" Escuchar este disco es visualizarse en un auto, ventanas bajas cruzando el Bronx, literalmente donde nació el rap. No culpo en lo más mínimo a la gente que dice que Illmatic es el mejor disco de rap de la historia o el lugar donde comenzó la era dorada del género. Soul, funk, jazz. Este disco lo tiene (y samplea) todo. Cierra de principio a fin. Si bien fue producido en conjunto con un montón de productores es notoria la contribución de Q-Tip, proveyendo carácter y personalidad a la voz de Nassir. El flow y el sonido de este disco solo se compara con un grupo muy selecto de discos de la época/genero. Es rarísimo mirar atrás y decir que las letras de este disco son las más… ¿Educadas? Nas tiene esa capacidad de demostrar lo horrible de vivir en un ghetto y a su vez señalar la esperanza de salir, o de vivir en uno. Por supuesto que todo se vuelve full circle cuando lo comparás con discos que venían de la otra cosa como el amado The Cronicle de Dr. Dre. No hay notas adicionales, el disco lo dice todo y más. Si querés hacer un viaje por los gigantes del rap, Illmatic va a estar entre las 3 primeras paradas que quieras hacer.

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Mon May 31 2021
5

What a wonderful album. Possibly one of my favorite beats/samples in the last track. So many dissertations have been written about how great this album is. What else is there to say?

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Fri May 07 2021
5

Great album front to back. Pentacle of hip hop

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Fri May 07 2021
5

top5

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Thu May 13 2021
5

Nas is a legend.

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Mon May 31 2021
5

Classic!

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Sun Jul 04 2021
5

Terrible discazo, la produccion me encanto, tiene buenas liricas, esta excelentemente rapeado. 5/5

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Sun Jul 25 2021
5

Iconic album

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Thu Jul 29 2021
5

Classic

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Fri Aug 13 2021
5

damn this one slaps! NY State of mind is a stone cold classic, I really like the mixing and that flow! again, damn!

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Thu Aug 26 2021
5

It’s Illmatic.

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Fri Aug 27 2021
5

Insane he pulled this off his debut, I mean the production alone Is stacked. The cover is literally one of the first images in my head when I hear “hip hop”

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Tue Sep 14 2021
5

Wonderful flows

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Mon Sep 27 2021
5

Stonewall CLASSIC hip hop album. Legendary album.

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Fri Oct 15 2021
5

Timeless, basically

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Wed Oct 20 2021
5

Ill

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Mon Nov 01 2021
5

När jag i mellanstadiet ville bredda mina musikhorisonter och lyssna på något annat än Eminem, läste jag på internet om Nas' Illmatic, och hur den beskrevs som en "hip-hopbibel". Sedan dess har albumet följt mig. Jag återkommer alltid till det efter några månader, inte för att det påverkat eller betytt särskilt mycket för mig, utan för att jag vet att när jag slår på Illmatic har jag 40 minuter ren kvalité framför mig. Varje låt, varje beat, varje rad är så nära perfektion man kan komma i hip-hop. Detta trots att Nas i vad som kanske är tidernas bästa hip-hoplåt, N.Y. State of Mind, inför första versen lägger in en brasklapp: "I don't know how to start this shit, yo...". Albumet är perfekt rakt igenom, men extra bra är ovan nämnda N.Y. State of Mind (såklart), Life's a Bitch, One Love, och Represent. Straight out the fuckin' dungeons of rap! Bästa låt: N.Y. State of Mind.

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Wed Nov 03 2021
5

Straight classic in the rap genre. Biting, intense lyricism and amazing crisp production and beats.

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Fri Nov 05 2021
5

OK! I liked this the first time through. Liked it even more the second time through. Yep, the music is catchy, the rhymes are clever. All the talk of M-16s, M-10s, .9s, and the threat of death or prison makes me viscerally anxious, so I'm not sure if I'll listen to it regularly (and I acknowledge the privilege that I have that allows me to say and do that). But this is a great album and I can see why it's on this list.

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Thu Nov 11 2021
5

Really good.

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Fri Nov 12 2021
5

A Hip-hop Classic

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Sun Nov 14 2021
5

Classic for a reason. 9/10

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Sun Nov 21 2021
5

Классика

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Wed Dec 15 2021
5

haven't listened to a lot of 90s rap, i enjoyed it

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Thu Dec 16 2021
5

This album brought back memories of when I used to hustle on the streets of Brooklyn. 1. I have never been to New York. 2. I have never hustled on the streets.

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Fri Jan 14 2022
5

classic

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Thu Jan 20 2022
5

The best rap album ever. No skits, no filler tracks, only 1 excellent guest verse. Every best sounds classic, Nas is on fire beginning to end. NY state of mind and the 2nd verse on memory lane especially are my favourites

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Sat Jan 22 2022
5

IM OUT FOR DEAD PRESIDENTS TO REPRESENT ME

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Sat Jan 29 2022
5

5.0 + Sleek and ferocious with smooth jazz samples and non-stop bars. Arguably the pinnacle of New York hip hop, and any hip hop ever.

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Mon Feb 14 2022
5

I’m not surprised how much I still like this.

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Wed Feb 23 2022
5

Probably on my list of 10 greatest hip hop albums ever. What can you say that hasn't been said. Classic, no skips.

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Tue Mar 22 2022
5

Best hip-hop album of all time.

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Tue Mar 22 2022
5

the greatest debut album in hip hop

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Sun Apr 03 2022
5

One of the greatest and most influential rap albums of all time. The classic beats and smooth flow from Nas make it a classic.

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Wed Apr 13 2022
5

Unfuckwithable

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Wed Apr 13 2022
5

Undisputed classic. No wasted space.

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Sat Apr 16 2022
5

I love this album. Hip hop / rap at its best. I will be honest and say this is not my type of music. This has really changed my mind on the whole genre. The laid grooves really set it off

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Tue Apr 19 2022
5

Hotter than a Manilla tic’s bite, I liked this much more than expected. Uncomplicated and easy to listen to

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Fri Apr 22 2022
5

One of the best ever

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Fri Apr 22 2022
5

The best

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Mon Apr 25 2022
5

legendary and foundational album

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Tue Apr 26 2022
5

It's as good as everyone has said. This album is 27 years old!!! It blends "street" rap with the trip-hop/horns backing and beats and political rap. I'm only on my first listen and suspect it will take many more to fully ingest this. Easy five stars.

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Fri Apr 29 2022
5

One of the greatest rap albums of all time. classic!

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Fri Apr 29 2022
5

Pica

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Mon May 09 2022
5

East Coast Hip Hop™️

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Thu May 12 2022
5

Borderline perfect

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Wed May 18 2022
5

Fantastic rap album by Nas. His first album at such a young age gives an insight to the New York street life. The lyrics are raw and visual. The beats are great and still entertaining today. This album is historical in Nas having it produced by various people. This album is one of the best. 8.9/10

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Tue May 24 2022
5

LP

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Tue May 31 2022
5

Fantastic. This is one I could listen to over and over. Great lyrics, fantastic beats

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Tue Jun 07 2022
5

Another absolute banger of an album. One of the greatest and most influential hip-hop records of all time, enough ssid

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Wed Jun 08 2022
5

5.0

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Tue Jun 14 2022
5

Un de mes album rap pref 5

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Fri Jun 17 2022
5

Arguably the best rap album of all time, Classic flows and classic beats love NY state of mind and around the park. Love how nas is still dropping classics as well with the kings diseases. :)

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Thu Jun 23 2022
5

Rightfully one of the most celebrated rap albums of all time. Top tier beats, flow and lyrics - and no weird, horny skits.

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Tue Jul 05 2022
5

I'm not a big connoisseur of hip-hop, I don't have many references to explain it, but... It's one of the best hip-hop albums of all time, isn't it? It seems to me that the flow of NAS is varied and perfect. The beats are very easy to listen to, not too flashy, but far from being empty and without interest. The man seems to have a lot of vocabulary and he knows how to use it.

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Tue Jul 05 2022
5

Wow, I love it so full of solid songs, but it's seem like it's mostly an album you would listen in the background in a trendy saketeshop or restaurant. Jazzy sample are really nice. Why is it the first time I listen to it from the begining to the end ???

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Tue Jul 05 2022
5

Not a rap/hip-hop enthousiast, but this is top tier stuff. Very nice!

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Tue Jul 05 2022
5

Old school hip hop doesn't get any better than this.

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Tue Jul 12 2022
5

Classic

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Fri Jul 15 2022
5

Rap classic

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Thu Jul 21 2022
5

Absoluter Klassiker, immer wieder gut

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Tue Jul 26 2022
5

Timeless east coast hip hop.

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Fri Aug 19 2022
5

A lot of people would say this is the best rap album of all time. I wouldn’t go that far but it is very good. Nas’s greatest strength is his story telling ability which you hear on almost every song here, especially NY State of mind. I wish he switched his flow up a little more on this but they didn’t do that back then and he does now on his newer stuff. My favorite song on this is The World is Yours.

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Sat Aug 20 2022
5

ok

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Mon Aug 22 2022
5

Great album, been a while.

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Mon Aug 29 2022
5

One of the best

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Mon Aug 29 2022
5

Big Willy Styles.. Just shy of A Tribe Called Quest level perfection

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Mon Aug 29 2022
5

Fantastic

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Wed Aug 31 2022
5

It drops deep as it does in my breath I never sleep, 'cause sleep is the cousin of death. The album starts with a skit as is tradition in early 90's boom-bap, setting out the stall that these are sounds taken straight from the streets. Then facing into what is arguably THE iconic hip-hop track. NY State of Mind encapsulates everything people love about this era of rap; driving insistent rhythm, mind-blowing sampling work, lyrical excellence, and the anti-hero protagonist delivering with menace and attitude. Life's a Bitch continues in this strong vein of form with a mantra everyone can get behind. We have a nice contrast in the next song, although the world is shit at least it's your world to do with what you please, the guiding belief of gangsters justifying the hustle. First half of the album concludes with 2 very solid tracks, Halftime and Memory Lane. One-Love a bit of a low point with a disjointed beat which never really falls into a groove. One Time 4 Your Mind is back to form with a bass-line that's as smooth as butter, a slow burner that could go for days. For an album that is so lyrical I find it quite hard to focus on the lyrics as the instrumentals are so strong. Could take a few more listens with a lyric sheet to fully appreciate something this dense. Represent another high-point along with the closer to conclude an album that is right up there with 36 Chambers as arguably the best hip-hop album of the 90's Nothing's equivalent to the New York state of mind - 4.5/5

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Fri Sep 16 2022
5

One of my favourite hip hop albums of all time. Lyrically and musically on point!

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Tue Sep 20 2022
5

A classic in the rap genre

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Tue Sep 20 2022
5

In just under 40 minutes, we have banger after banger with everything you could ask for in a hip hop album. Let's start with the incredible mindblowing production, by the world famous Q-Tip and DJ Permier (among others) who produced their own masterpieces with similar vibes. It's a chill album, with jazzy, soulful, and atmospheric samples, and hazy and static effects that evoke feelings of nostalgia and despair of the NY state of mind. The record scratches appropriately add on to these emotions, but sometimes contribute to feelings of fun and optimism as in "The World is Yours". There's a lot of diversity in the styles, which give each song its personality. Everyone has a different favorite song. Now for the lyricism. Nas is cool and slick, sometimes loud and in your face, but other times thoughtful and introspective. It's no wonder he's a GOAT. I'm impressed by his extensive metaphors and vocabulary, always smooth yet playing with literary devices as if each song has its own audience and storytelling style. His raps are imaginative; I can picture the scenes, the characters, and the troubles he describes. Sometimes he's self aware of his skills, and at other times he's sending letters to friends in jail. Many songs have catchy hooks that draw your attention, allowing you to participate even for just a one line (or word) chorus. It makes it engaging, but also its limited extent directs your focus to Nas's lyricism. No weak songs. I found something impressive and novel about each of the songs. It's short with no filler. No need for skits either, or at least they're integrated well with the songs that they don't disrupt the flow or mood. "NY State of Mind" starts the album strongly, and "It Ain't Hard to Tell" is an appropriate ending that's atmospheric with bright and dreamy samples: a satisfying way to close the album.

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Fri Sep 23 2022
5

Impresionante. De esta lista de 1001 discos los que más me están sorprendiendo son los de Hip hop/Rap que no conocía. Este de NAS me parece buenísimo suena todo bien pero me han gustado más temas como: "N.Y. State of Mind", "Life's a Bitch" (featuring AZ), "The World Is Yours", "Halftime", "One Time 4 Your Mind" o "Represent". Cinco estrellas *****.

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Tue Oct 04 2022
5

This is the epitome of 'on point' isn't it?

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Tue Oct 11 2022
5

A classic for me. "N.Y. State of Mind," "Halftime," "One Love," and "The World is Yours" bring back some fond memories of listening to this album as an adolescent.

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Wed Oct 12 2022
5

I just love this style I can't resist

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Thu Oct 13 2022
5

5/5. A truly forward-thinking album that is important not only to the rap community but also to America and the world as a whole.

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Wed Oct 19 2022
5

El mejor disco de hiphop de todos los tiempos, dicen. One Time 4 Your Mind.

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Fri Oct 21 2022
5

A stone-cold classic. So many stellar hip hop tracks on this one, "N.Y. State Of Mind", " Life's A Bitch", "The World Is Yours", "One Love", "Represent", "It Ain't hard To Tell"... The stars just aligned for *Illmatic*, one of the strongest album debuts of all time. Yet chance was not the only factor that can explain such a hip hop miracle. What you have here is an incredible team of producers at the top of their game (DJ Premier, Pete Rock, Large Professor, Q-Tip and L.E.S.) providing the best cuts ever so that an incredibly talented lyricist and wordsmith can shine under the eyes of the world for the first time ever. Said world seemed to be his indeed. Nas was so young, and for someone his age to accomplish such a feat on his very first record is just the stuff of legend. Per Wikipedia, this is what Prefix Mag's Matthew Gasteier re-examining Illmatic and its musical significance stated in 2002: "*Illmatic* is the best hip-hop record ever made. Not because it has ten great tracks with perfect beats and flawless rhymes, but because it encompasses everything great about hip-hop that makes the genre worthy of its place in music history. Stylistically, if every other hip-hop record were destroyed, the entire genre could be reconstructed from this one album. But in spirit, *Illmatic* can just as easily be compared to *Ready to Die*, *It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back*, and *Enter the Wu-Tang* as it can to *Rites of Spring*, *A Hard Day's Night*, *Innervisions*, and *Never Mind the Bollocks*. In *Illmatic*, you find the meaning not just of hip-hop, but of music itself: the struggle of youth to retain its freedom, which is ultimately the struggle of man to retain his own essence." 5 stars, of course. The Source barely hesitated to break their "no-5-mics policy" back then. And you know what? History proved them right. Number of albums left to review: 762 Number of albums from the list I find relevant enough to be mandatory listens: 119 (including this one) Albums from the list I *might* include in mine later on: 57 Albums from the list I will certainly *not* include in mine (many others are more important): 62

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Mon Oct 24 2022
5

I hate to do this but I’ve got 3 5/5’s in a row baby! Maybe that’s a bad thing though because I’ll get less 5/5’s later but it’s so good… The reason why I love this album is because it’s one of the only rap albums that are concise and lack a bad song. Nas is also quite possibly one of the best lyricist’s that I’ve ever herd I’ve always especially liked the line “sleep is the cousin of death” on New York state of mind. The beats are fairly samey but it doesn’t matter too much as that’s not really the focus of the album . There are some skits on the album but (other than the first track) they act more as introductions to the songs and don’t drag unlike they sometimes do on rap album. Maybe it’s slightly front loaded but it gets balanced out by the skit at the start. I guess it’s a 5.

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Sat Oct 29 2022
5

Rating: 10/10

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Mon Oct 31 2022
5

there’s a reason this is commonly cited as the best rap album of all time. incredible lyricism, great production, all around just excellent. couldnt imagine rating it less

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Tue Nov 01 2022
5

aight I’ll give credit where credit is due I’m not a huge fan of old school rap but this is a damn good album the only old school rap I really like is A Tribe Called Quest and Lauryn Hill but still, this was amazing too I guess it’s a 10/10, I don’t really know what to complain about, it was just good favorite song was probably Represent

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Fri Nov 04 2022
5

Masterpiece

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Fri Nov 04 2022
5

One of the best rap albums ever.

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Fri Nov 04 2022
5

Why aren't all rap albums like this? Tight beats, melodic hooks and samples, and every track a 4-minute unspooling of bars. Has to be five stars as it escapes the cardinal sins of rap albums: no skits, no 18 tracks, all killer no filler as they say. Also - like the best Public Enemy, Wu Tang (who do all of the above) and it shames me to say the first NWA album, bears repeated listening.

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Fri Nov 11 2022
5

If there was a 6 i would give it.

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Wed Nov 16 2022
5

This is 100% the greatest rap album ever made. Nas has also solidified himself as the greatest of all time with KD3

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Thu Nov 17 2022
5

Iconic.

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Tue Nov 22 2022
5

Verdensklasse rap, old-school, new york, bare legendarisk

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Wed Nov 23 2022
5

Classic

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Fri Nov 25 2022
5

N.Y. State of Mind est tellement excellente. Le beat de DJ Premier est monstrueux. Le flow est fantastique. The World Is Yours est probablement l’autre pièce plus connue de cet album(?). J'aime comment sur Life's A Bitch la ligne "Life's a bitch and then you die, that's why we get high 'Cause you never know when you're gonna go" est répétée pour en faire un refrain. La production est superbe et le choix des différents producteurs est bien fait et permet probablement de faire en sorte de donner un peu plus de personnalité à chacune des pièces. Un incontournable du Hip-Hop new-yorkais.

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Mon Jun 14 2021
4

yep

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Wed Dec 23 2020
4

Somehow I missed actually listening to this thing. Seems to be about worth the hype. The low end backs up the bars, and reinforces their sheer density. Probably the best fusion of East Coast sound and jazz that I've heard yet. Deserves a closer listen than I gave it, though.

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Wed Sep 30 2020
4

MUY BUENO

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Wed Jun 30 2021
4

The lyrical flow is great and works nicely with the samples and beat. But the content isn't much different than other rap albums.

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Sat Dec 05 2020
4

An amazing rap album in every aspect, storytelling , lyrics, beat choice,... no misses one of my favorite hip hop albums 9.3/10

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Mon Feb 01 2021
4

Nas’s flows on this are so good, literally flowing. Just so smooth. The instrumentals aren’t super grand or anything, but they’re groovey and funky, sort of minimalist here and there. Almost lo-fi hip hop/jazz inspired. I think it’s good, I know how influential this was, how big it was and has been since, but I can’t rank it a 5. Would like more hooks, more instrumental changeups, bigger sound. A couple songs that maybe go on 45 seconds too long

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Sat Jan 16 2021
4

3.5/5

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Mon May 31 2021
4

Yeeeh. Listen 4 times to this one to try to understand the hype. Sure the rhyme structure is interesting, his flow is nice and the production from prem is tight. For me, I think it lacks any killer hooks and maybe that is the reason I’ve never really got into Nas.

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Sat Jan 30 2021
4

damn decent . ill prolly listen to this as socially acceptable music

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Tue Feb 16 2021
4

Classic album from a classic time in hip-hop.

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Sat Jan 16 2021
4

Good background beats, interesting lyrics.

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Fri Jan 15 2021
4

Very complex rhyming

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Wed Jan 13 2021
4

Old school hip hop

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Tue Jan 19 2021
4

Can definitely see why this is considered one of the best rap albums ever

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Wed Jan 13 2021
4

Has a 'old school' New York feel. Can feel the pain but also filled with hope

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Mon Jan 18 2021
4

Chill! 3.5 rounded up.

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Wed Apr 28 2021
4

Still can't pull out individual tracks but always enjoy listening as a whole

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Fri Mar 12 2021
4

Finally, a rap album! I’m wondering how I’m going to feel about this one, though, as I’m not a big fan of glorifying violence. So I actually liked this one more than I thought I might.

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Mon Mar 08 2021
4

I still have a hard time sitting and listening to rap because the words are a lot like poetry so I always feel like I need to read along. What I picked up from this I liked.

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Fri Jun 25 2021
4

It's a very good classic rap album. For me, these songs could be more strong and the thematic sounds old for modern days, but I respect the historical music from the hip-hop movement.

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Tue Mar 02 2021
4

Its that bridge to modern hip-hop. Halftime is rad. Memory Lane is rad. Aint hard to tell is a great closer

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Wed Jul 07 2021
4

Keine Ahnung, soll ich jetzt wieder das alte Lied anfangen, von wegen früher war HipHop besser, die MCs haben's mehr real gekeeped und von der Consciousness an sich? Naja, aber für mich ganz persönlich/meinen Geschmack war das schon auch so. Auch wenn Nas meinem Lieblings-Flavor nicht durchgehend am nächsten kommt: meinen kross gebratenen Rehspeck kricht er natürlich trotzdem, und kriegen Premier, Large Professor, Q-Tip und die anderen für die Produktion. Für seinen supergechillten Old-Newschool-Flow, für das Selbstbewusstsein (mit 19!), für die klare Artikulation, und für Queensbridge: 4 Punkte

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Mon Jul 19 2021
4

Some lyrics still as poignant today as when they were written which asks questions about how much social progress has really been made

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Wed Feb 17 2021
4

OH HELL YEAH

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Thu Jul 15 2021
4

Enjoyed this, so much that I listened to it twice through without pain

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Tue Apr 20 2021
4

Started out a bit slow, but the 2nd half of the album is all bangers.

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Fri Jan 29 2021
4

A rap album that I actually enjoyed listening to and would consider coming back to if I ever wanted to listen to rap. Fav Track: Halftime

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Mon Feb 01 2021
4

Amazing verses, liked the later songs on the album more than the well known first couple of tracks

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Mon May 24 2021
4

Can see why this is so acclaimed, really good tracks and lyrics

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Sun Apr 04 2021
4

Рэп, но хотя бы не раздражает

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Wed Mar 24 2021
4

Boomer Gut

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Wed May 05 2021
4

I was quite enjoying this album, but I did have to listen to it in three goes, as it was a bit much to have blasting at home. From what I've read, illmatic was the first album of its kind, making way for people like dre, Jay z, biggie smalls etc. For this, it definitely deserves to be up there on this list.

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Wed Apr 14 2021
4

It was good

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Sun May 02 2021
4

Sick jazzy 90s hip hop

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Wed May 19 2021
4

Great album

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Tue Jun 01 2021
4

Dope album actually

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Mon May 10 2021
4

Good stuff. Beats are solid

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Wed May 12 2021
4

Me gustó mucho. No puedo creer que este disco se me escapó cuando me estuve metiendo en Hip Hop de los 90s. En The Genesis, escuché una voz conocida ... el que canta en Public Enemy, puede ser? PD. En "NY State of Mind" dice "The city never sleeps, full of villains and creeps", es contradictorio pero me hace querer un poquito más a NYC 4/5

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Fri May 07 2021
4

Slick beats, mean flows, classic album.

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Sun May 23 2021
4

A fantastic rap album.

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Fri Jun 04 2021
4

It goes, hard.

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Fri May 07 2021
4

Every track has a solid groove, the rhymes are so effortless 8/10

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Thu Jul 22 2021
4

I don't like the language, but the music is phenomenal. What a talent. Really enjoyed this. Listened to it at least three times today and just keeps getting better.

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Mon Jul 19 2021
4

Not a hip hop fan, but holy shit does Nas have the gift of poetry. This didn’t feel like a collection of songs, but a love letter to the gritty New York so many of us grew up in.

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Thu Jul 29 2021
4

Classic as fuck

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Fri Jul 30 2021
4

Classic

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