Nas ‘Illmatic’ 25th Anniversary

Release date: 19th April 1994

Label: Columbia

Producers: DJ Premier / Pete Rock / Large Professor / Q-Tip / L.E.S

Profile (courtesy of Wikipedia):

“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. Its 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 in Queensbridge, New York.

The album debuted at number 12 on the US Billboard 200 chart, selling 94,000 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. The album has sold 2 million copies in the United States as of February 6, 2019.

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 albums of all time, appearing on numerous best album lists by critics and publications.”

Additional info:

- Listen to Chris Read’s 25th Anniversary mixtape.

- The singles ‘One Love’ and ‘It Ain’t Hard to Tell’ appears on our Classic Material 1994 Mixtape.

- The track ‘It Ain’t Hard to Tell (Large Professor Remix) appears on our 1994 Rap Megamix.

- The album comes in at #1 on Ego Trip’s Top 25 Rap Albums of 1994.

- The singles ‘It Ain’t Hard to Tell’ comes in at #11 on Ego Trip’s Top 40 Rap Singles of 1994.

- Listen to samples used in the making of the album on WhoSampled.

Listen: Spotify / Youtube

Purchase: Discogs

Classic Material