Throwback Thursday: Nasty Nas Gets Ill….matic
Spring 1994. Riding high off the buzz from his song-stealing verse on Main Source’s “Live at the BBQ,” a 16-year old Nasir Jones would soon become the object of industry obsession – and for good reason. Illmatic is 40 minutes of sonic energy fine-tuned to resemble a prodigal rapper’s instruction manual. Top to bottom, track one through ten are certified classics. From the disc’s leading single, “Halftime,” to the AZ co-crafted “Life’s a…,” to the oft-forgotten Large Professor cut, “One Time for your Mind,” Nas put his heart and soul on wax. Every song weaves a narrative that could make Scorsese envious. On the eve of Illmatic’s 20th anniversary, hundreds of editorials will arise, crediting the record for inspiring the blueprint for NY’s illustrious rap scene. But, for listeners and fans of hip hop music, it did even more. It spoke to them the way Jimi Hendrix and John Lennon spoke to our parents’ generation. You may not be old enough to remember where you were when it was first released, but there’s no reason you cant familiar yourself with Esco’s scrolls right now.