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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Possibly the greatest rap album ever made.
The year is 1994, a solo debut is on the rise for a 20 year old Nasir Jones, who witnesses ready to be told stories from his apartment window in Queens. He needs to make money, get out of this lifestyle he has been living for years and show the world his talent. Illmatic was originally supposed to be his only released cd, after this, he was going to retire and take his...
Published on July 11 2004 by Cameron

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars edited
Everyone whose heard this album knows its straight 5 mics,but when u make it edited.damn.just wrong.It was the mistake in description by supplier.
Published 7 months ago by midnight321


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Possibly the greatest rap album ever made., July 11 2004
By 
Cameron (Southern California) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Illmatic (Audio CD)
The year is 1994, a solo debut is on the rise for a 20 year old Nasir Jones, who witnesses ready to be told stories from his apartment window in Queens. He needs to make money, get out of this lifestyle he has been living for years and show the world his talent. Illmatic was originally supposed to be his only released cd, after this, he was going to retire and take his money. But the success of this timeless masterpiece led him to stay and share more of his talent with the world with other great/classic cd's.
An album that gets hate for being so short, really could of been shorter, it's just that perfect. First things first, we have "The Genesis". This is about 20-30 seconds of a man talking (I think this is from some old movie) where it eventually cuts off with a beat and AZ and other people talking with Nas about how they gotta change the game and light some Phillies and stuff, then at the end he declares, "Representing it's Illmatic." After he says that you just know some crazy s*** is about jump off. And so it does. Track 2, "NY State of Mind", the best song on the album in my opinion, defines what this album and what him as a rapper is about. He spits a long two verse narrative of life on the streets over a blazing DJ Premier beat and it's an instant classic with lines like, "It drops deep as the words in my breath, I never sleep cause sleep is the cousin of death." Next we have the calm and relaxing beat of "Life's a B****" featuring AZ. I don't want to say Nas gets outshined, but it's hard not to when AZ spits debatably one of his best verses in his career. In the last 45 seconds or so of the track, Nas's dad does a solo with his trumpet, very nice. Now we have the great track produced by Pete Rock, "The World is Yours". This is such a great track as Nas does what he does best and Pete drops a DOPE beat with scratching and just this crazy vibe, one of his best. After that it's "Halftime" which was a single and with good reason. The beat as with all the others is very nice and lyrically its amazing, "Nas why did you do it? You know you got the mad fat fluid when you rhyme, it's halftime." Indeed you do Nas, indeed you do. Then after that mafioso performance we have "Memory Lane (Sitting in the Park)". I love this track. Again produced by the master Premier, the beat is just almost depressing and makes you really zone out. What can I say about the lyrics, they're great just like every other song on this album while discussing street life. Now for track 7 and what is one of the most memorable tracks on the cd, "One Love". It features Q-Tip who does the chorus and produces this simple sounding, yet awesome beat. Nas is basically writing a letter to this friend and gives a shout out to another great lyricist who got noticed when Nas said his name, "Whattup with Cormega did you see him are yall together?". After that he gives us "One Time for Your Mind". This song doesn't get much recognition, and isn't the best cut on the cd, but every song here is a classic and great beat wise and lyrically. I guess you could just consider it an under-rated track on the album cause people think highly of it, but just hardly ever speak of it. It's produced by Large Professor who is a great producer and really comes through and of course, Nas does it one time for our minds. Track 9 and getting closer to the end, we have "Represent". Great song with a beat provided by the one and only DJ Premier. Nas just talks about keeping it real and obviously, representing as the last bit of the song is nothing but shout outs to people and NY. Finally it's here, the last track, "It Ain't Hard to Tell". Once again Large P. comes correct with the smooth, catchy beat. Nas spits some fierce rhymes on this track, some of the best too, check it out, "It ain't hard to tell, I excel, then prevail/The mic is contacted, I attract clientele/My mic check is life or death, breathin a sniper's breath/I exhale the yellow smoke of buddha through righteous steps/Deep like The Shinin', sparkle like a diamond/Sneak a uzi on the island in my army jacket linin/Hit the Earth like a comet, invasion/Nas is like the Afrocentric Asian, half-man, half-amazin/Cause in my physical, I can express through song/Delete stress like Motrin, then extend strong/I drank Moet with Medusa, give her shotguns in hell/From the spliff that I lift and inhale, it ain't hard to tell." If that isn't a great way to end an album then I don't know what is.
This is absolutely a timeless classic with no flaws to be found. It's possibly the greatest album lyrically and production wise, I mean every track has big name people like Premier, Alchemist, Large P., or Pete Rock, and even the one guest appearance from AZ is priceless. Words can't describe the gold that is implanted on this disc, its rap at its finest. If you don't have this album, GET IT, if you don't like it, then you probably don't understand rap and hip-hop because this album defines them. I guess Nas truly is the street's disciple.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic, July 11 2004
By 
This review is from: Illmatic (Audio CD)
Nas, this album is amazing. i bought this album 10 years after it came out. i got it with tha anniversary edition. i always heard how good it was and it was tha best rap album out there. i listened and i just wanted more 10 songs wasnt enough. this album is hott and theres no big name apperances, no super producers like neptunes or kanyae west. jus large professor, q-tip,az and tha best nas. his lyrics r like no other. from begining to end its crazy. if yur a new rap fan or old u need this. to know where rap came from or where its goin this is where it started. with ILLMATIC
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3.0 out of 5 stars edited, Dec 16 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Everyone whose heard this album knows its straight 5 mics,but when u make it edited.damn.just wrong.It was the mistake in description by supplier.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Album!, June 2 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Illmatic (Audio CD)
Really love the album, nothing bad to say about the content.

But the disc case had two scrapes on the front which kind of bugged me considering it was packaged nicely when i received it only to pull out the scratched case.
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5.0 out of 5 stars For a special friend, Feb. 22 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Illmatic (Vinyl) (LP Record)
I had bought this VINYL for an old friend of mine. He admires NAS and this is one of his favourite albums.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Illmatic is straight ILL..., July 18 2004
This review is from: Illmatic (Audio CD)
This album has got to be the best I have ever heard. There are no tracks on this album that should be skipped. I have listened to a lot of albums over the last couple years and nothing comes close to this. I would have to say that Big L - Lifestylez Ov Da Poor And Dangerous, Jay-Z - Reasonable Doubt, Tupac - All Eyez On Me, and Notorious B.I.G. - Ready To Die come close to this album but none of them are better. Nas' story telling ability alone sets him apart from other rappers. When he raps you almost feel that you are a part of what he is spitting. Also, he almost always has a positive message in his songs and to me that counts for a lot. Now-a-days almost every rapper out there is rapping about cars, money and girls just to sell records but it seems that Nas doesn't care about how much he sells he just wants to put out music that almost all people can relate to. Make sure you pick up Street Disciple when it hits the stores September 24/04.....ONE LOVE
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of The Greatest, July 17 2004
By 
This review is from: Illmatic (Audio CD)
"Illmatic" is basically one of the top five rap albums ever created. There's so much good in this album that I can't even write how much. I'd have to write a paragraph for every song.
My favorites:(NY State of Mind, Life's A Bitch, The World Is Yours, Sittin In Da Park, One Love, It Ain't Hard To Tell, and Represent). The other songs are also good. There's only 10 songs, but they're all listenable and so it provides no filler. Nas is prolly one of the greatest rappers of all time and Illmatic is his most memorable classic(other classics are Stillmatic and God's Son in my opinion).
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Lyrical Slaughterhouse!!! Moment of Silence., July 6 2004
This review is from: Illmatic (Audio CD)
Best Hip-Hop album of all time!! Yes, this is better than any 2Pac album ever. 2Pac wasn't even this much of an genius. This album changed the face of hip-hop forever. Back when the hip-hop was ran by the east coast, Nas was the only person that took hip hop back to its roots. He was the best rapper on the east coast, not Biggie. In my opinion Biggie wasn't even on the same level as Nas. If Biggie was still alive today he wouldn't be better than Nas. This ablum literally makes me cry, because I think about how the rap game is today, and it's pathetic. Illmactic is so ahead of its time. Just think when have you ever heard an album like this. I'll help you out, you haven't. It's been ten years since Illmatic came out, and there still isn't an album like this. My question is, Will there ever be?? Nas certainly secured his spot as one of the best emcees ever, if not the best ever. In my opinion if Nas isn't the best ever, then he ties 2Pac for the number 1 spot. Nas doesn't have to talk about guns, girls, and money. It seems like he is better than that. Everyone just follows behind what somebody else does in hip hop today. If don't believe me just listen to Slick Rick and Biggie. Slick Rick originizied the art of story telling and Biggie just came behind Slick Rick and did the same thing, he just added violence to his stories. Also all of Nas's albums sound very different. You can't say that for any other artists, not even 2Pac himself. You never know where Nas is coming from. Perfect example who would've thought that Nas would come out with "If I Ruled The World" after the classic "Illmatic". In conclusion "Illmatic" is a must have for any music fan, not just hip hop fan. If don't have this album, then you are really missing out on the essence of TRUE HIP-HOP!!!
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4.0 out of 5 stars what ia yall talking about, June 10 2003
By 
This review is from: Illmatic (Audio CD)
Yall crazy saying Nas is better than JAY-Z .Nas is the king of contadiction he is not real.He is a good rapper but he is not deep like people think he is .He is not even better than Busta Rhymes,M.O.P OR Eminem.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Best Rap Album Ever. Period., Oct. 3 2002
By 
This review is from: Illmatic (Audio CD)
Okay...I am the type of person who believes that everyone is entitled to their own opinion. I never question people's preferences when it comes to music or ANYTHING, but in this case I have to say that if you think this album is over-rated or wack...I'm sorry but you have NO idea what you are talking about. This album is 100 percent pure hip-hop bliss...from start to finish. The best lyrics I've ever heard combined with the best UNDERGROUND production ever. If you ain't feeling this CD, you probably think Nelly is the best emcee ever. This album is not about bling-blinging, or drinking moet, or flossing in your Benz...this about life in the projects...plain and simple...and absolutely poetic. I bought this CD on the day it came out, and everytime I listen to it I am still amazed at how good it is. Too bad this was Nas' only good album...after this he drifted in to crossover rap and never gained this greatness again. I urge you...if you don't have this CD and you like REAL rap (not Nelly, or Jay-Z, or Cash-Money Wackanaires) please do yourself a favor and get this. Nas is absolutely relentless on this CD. And if you already have Illmatic, and you appreciate its rawness, you should really check out "The Realness" by Cormega. I would put that album second behind Illmatic as the greatest of all time.
"Somehow the rap game reminds me of the crack game, used to sport ballys and gazelles with black frames, now I'm into fat chains sex and tecs, fly new chicks and new kicks, Hienie's and Beck's"----NAS, from Illmatic
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