Collection: 44. Nas - Illmatic

Other rappers were harder and brasher, but nobody captured the creeping menace of life on the streets like this 20-year-old from New York’s Queensbridge projects. With lines like “I never sleep, ’cause sleep is the cousin of death,” Nas showed more poetic style than any MC since Rakim. His debut begins with the sound of a subway train, and for the next 39 minutes, he seems to visit every street corner from Queens to Brooklyn, detailing drug deals, escapism, persecution, prison life, and survival. Throughout, he displays a pure focus (there’s only one guest verse) and explosive dexterity; it’s one thing to say “I drop the ancient manifested hip-hop,” as he does in the first verse of “Memory Lane,” it’s another to back that up with a stunning, acrobatic second verse. Illmatic was an instant classic that never crossed over, which only deepened its myth with hip-hop heads. - RollingStone.com
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  • NAS - ILLMATIC LIVE FROM THE KENNEDY CENTER (2LP) VINYL
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