Illmatic - Nas


Norm Smith Medallist
Apr 28, 2008
AFL Club
West Coast
Other Teams
Arsenal Sydney Swans GWS CBR United
It is an incredible album. Midnight Marauders is the only hip-hop album I prefer, but I'm cool with people calling this the best.

A dozen or so years ago Illmatic was one of the very first hip-hop albums I owned (I wasn't really hip-hop minded until How I Got Over was released), so it was very much a gateway album. Coolio and late Outkast were my only genre LPs at that point.

Back then I was mad about the first 6 tracks (saw it as more frontloaded), whereas in more recent years I've come to appreciate the brilliance in tracks 7-10 as well. When It Aint Hard to Tell finally clicked I was in awe. Every few years when I go back to it I find something new that the young novice me might have missed. Incredibly tight and full of riches.

I agree that it is an essential NY album.
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All Australian
Oct 2, 2014
AFL Club
Yep this is the greatest hip hop album of all time. It is incredible that something so mature, technically brilliant, innovative and timeless was released by a 20 year old that dropped out of high school after the 8th grade and was brought up in public housing. It is also incredible how nothing else in his catologue comes close to matching this album. It Ain't Hard to Tell has always been my favourite track from it and is easily one of my favourite songs of all time.

As a side note, it's amusing comparing the quality of this to the complete trash Baker Boy is releasing right now - someone who appears to be receiving plenty of love and support from Triple J because he is young (is 22, so older than Nas was) and from a disadvantaged background (grew up in an Arnhem Land indigenous community, but actually finished high school unlike Nas). Comparing the two really makes you appreciate what Nas was doing even more.
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Norm Smith Medallist
May 12, 2015
AFL Club

Illmatic is far and away my favourite hip hop album. Just thought I'd link this track from the 10th anniversary edition as the clock ticks down to the release of Lost Tapes 2. The man's a genius


Club Legend
Sep 23, 2007
AFL Club
Brisbane Lions
Yes, "Life's a Bitch (and then you die - that's why we get high, coz you never know when you're gonna go)" is one of my favourite songs. This is definitely a 5-star album, in my top ten Hip Hop albums of all time. But then again, I've only listened to seven Hip Hop albums.

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