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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 9 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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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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5.0 out of 5 stars READ THIS - the only review you need!, May 29 2004
By 
Joe Borello "jbore26" (Glendale, AZ United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Illmatic (Audio CD)
I purchased this album in 95 and must say the Hip-hop is in no way, shape or form the way it used to be. Hip-hop should not be about satisfying all listeners. Presently, A great deal of MC's use hip-hop to showcase thier material things and party antics. To me, hip-hop is rhyming about life to people who want to listen. It's about showcasing pure talent. It is ironic to me that one of Nas' most provocative albums also brought him the least amount of success. There a many theories as to why this happened, but the fact of the matter still stands, he recorded this album w/ hip-hop in his heart. Undeniably, the record does have an old school vibe, but you must keep in mind that it was recorded in 94. Still, you will notice that it is ahead of it's time.
pete - I own an Esham record and eventhough I am an underground enthusiast, I cannot believe you are serious about giving him 5 stars on every album he put out. 3 or 3.5 maybe. Just because some of the lyrics are hard to grasp, don't mean it's deep
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4.0 out of 5 stars didnt say it was BAD, just sed it wasnt a classic, May 22 2004
This review is from: Illmatic (Audio CD)
Im sorry Chris but i DO own illmatic and have owned it for years. When i first had it i liked most the songs, but i am way over them all except for "Life's a B!tch", that is the only song that i occasionally still listen to. And i'm sorry but the majority of Esham's albums ARE underground, infact they all are except for his latest "Repentance", which i accept he has sold out and don't listen to. But if Esham had beef with Nas, Esham's mean hard-hitting lyrics would kill Nas. Nas would come back with something probably good, but wouldnt touch Esham. If you think Esham is not underground, then go out and cop Kkkill The Fetus, Closed Casket, Boomin Words From Hell, or any others released before 2001. Listen to Kkkill The Fetus in particular (my favourite) and then try telling me that he has sold out and is not underground. Try telling me that he is going to get radioplay from that. It is his choice, and it is instant classic (released a year before Nas' illmatic). Esham's earliest work is REAL rap. Muthaf%ckaz scared of him and don't give him radioplay because there scared of the truth. Esham only states the TRUTH. None of this bull$hit mainstream **lets f%ck the radio** bling bling lyrics. And the only reason 319 people (i must be 320) have reviewed illmatic and majority say its a classic is because Nas is FAR more commercial than esham, and loved more by the radio (which is not a good thing), and most of these 319 reviewers havent been opened up fully to rap, just like what everyone else likes. The typical **rap fan** or **hip-hop fan** that thinks they know what the best rap is, will say ATLEAST one of the following albums are amoungst the best of all time (in no particluar order):
Nas - illmatic
Wu-Tang Clan - Enter the wu-tang (36 chambers)
Bone thugs-n-harmony - E. 1999 Eternal
2Pac - All Eyez On Me
Notorious B.I.G - Ready 2 Die
now i own all 2pac albums, biggie, all bone albums, and all wu-tangs and 3 nas albums - illmatic, it was written, and i am..., and still my opinion duznt change about esham and natas, those rappers are still pretty good for mainstream rappers (not all those albums are mainstream but those artists are mainstream rappers because the rest of there albums are mainstream), however the BOTTOM LINE IS...
Esham is one of the greatest Underground Rappers EVER, in my opinion he is the greatest BUT I CANT SAY THAT BECAUSE I HAVE NOT HEARD EVERY SINGLE RAPPER (exactly what nas fans dont take into account - you cant call illmatic the best album ever in hiphop when u havent even heard HALF of hip hop that has been produced, and then u say then if its so good how come u havent heard of it, simple, because the best albums are all UNDERGROUND and they dont commericialised themselves and dont go to the radio for radioplay, they are based purely on word of mouth, which is exactly how you hear about them), but ANYWAY, the bottom line is...
Underground Rap kills Mainstream Rap
Lyrics - 9/10
Beats - 7/10
Originality - 8/10
Overall - 8/10 = 4/5 = 4 stars
Should you believe the hype? No, its nowhere near one of hiphops best EVER, but it WILL appeal to mainstream audience and nas fans (same thing).
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5.0 out of 5 stars Like you didn't know already, this album = best of its kind., April 22 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Illmatic (Audio CD)
Well...whatever this CD is worth it if you don't have the original Illmatic yet...otherwise, it's not worth getting the CD at all...just another CD with remixes on it and a small web preview.....you would spend $16 just for that if you already have the CD...not worth it.
But as for the actual music on the album...I had only heard clips of illmatic before I got this, I'm that sucker guy you can all bash on now for not having the album in the first place. When I bought this, I knew what I was listening to was a classic because of these reasons:
1. The first REAL street poet album where a story is told to you with one of the best lyrical flows the rap industry has ever witnessed.
2. Original beats by Q-Tip, Large Professor, and best of all, DJ Premier
3. Paved the way for the rappers you hear now, unfortunatly.
4. Lyrically, an INCREDIBLY detailed album for its time and still is today.
5.The first mainstream-marketed rap album I've ever heard to sound like an incredible underground production.
Overall, this version of the album is definitly worth every dollar if your money...but only if you don't have the original version. I rest my case.
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of the greatest of all time, April 16 2004
By 
Paul (Brampton, ON Canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Illmatic (Audio CD)
I was only 4 when the original Illmatic came out, so of course I wasn't a hip-hop fan. I discovered Nas back in 2001 with Stillmatic. After I purchased Stillmatic, I vowed that I would get his whole collection. Once I found out Columbia/Sony was doing a Re-Issue for Illmatic, I was ecstatic. That made it easier to find this classic LP since many stores don't carry old LP's no more. As for the album, you'll be dumbfounded. He's like a dragon cause he spits fire. I thought Nas was hot when Stillmatic came out... Unfortunately, his first was his best, and Illmatic was labelled one of the greatest hip-hop albums of all time and even Nas himself couldn't come close to it. The album had a lot of top-notch producers as far as Premo, Q-Tip, Pete Rock and Large Professer, and nobody could badmouth Nas's lyrics, and that's what made Illmatic "one of the most creative LP's ever to hit stores". As for the bonus disc, I think the remixes were too typical and unnecessary, since he already had a remix CD out. But the two brand-new cuts "On The Real" (Prod. by Marley Marl) and "Star Wars" (Prod. by Large Professer) are something new but still hot Nas fans can definetely vibe to. Hip-Hop is going down the gutter and is soon gonna hit rock bottom, so let's hope we can count on ill MC's like Nas to keep it hot.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic Revisited, April 9 2004
By 
"thegeneral951" (Washington D.C., USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Illmatic (Audio CD)
This is one of the few classic LP's. Great from start to finish.
Nasty Nas giving a in depth view of Queensbridge.
Tracklisting:
1. The Genesis (Intro)
2. "N.Y. State of Mind" Produced by DJ Premier
rating: 10/10
Vintage Flow, Great Storytelling, production at its best
3. "Life's A B***" Produced by L.E.S.
rating: 10/10
AZ verse is classic, tight beat
4. "World Is Yours" Produced by Pete Rock
rating 10/10, Famous line stolen by Jay-z "I'm out for presidents to represent me." Again lyrical content stellar,
5. "Halftime" Produced by Large Professor
rating: 10/10
Appropriately in the middle of the CD. Classic
6. "Memory Lane (Sittin' in the Park)" Produced by DJ Premier
rating: 10/10
First verse lyrically one of the best ever. Premo laced it.
7. "One Love" Produced by Q-Tip
rating: 10/10
Q-Tip laced story teller in form of letter to homie in jail. Yet another classic
8. "One Time For Your Mind" Produced by Large Professor
rating: 9/10
Flow is tight, can vibe to beat.
9. "Represent" Produced by DJ Premier
rating: 10/10
Yet another Premo laced classic.
10 "It Aint Hard to Tell" Produced by Large Professor
rating: 10/10
Lyrical Classic. Peep Micheal Jackson sample.
Bonus Tracks
Remixes are ok. Fun to listen to beside originals but some things are not meant to be tampered with. Starwars (Produced by Large Professor) is a new Star Wars sounding banger about feuds between rappers (NO NAMES SAID, DONT LOOK FOR A "LAST REAL N**** ALIVE"). rating: 8/10. On The Real (Produced by Marley Marl) is another modern day classic. The first verse is recycled from an old, illmatic day, song featuring Cormega and Screwball." First verse is CLASSIC. The two new ones are good. Rating for DISC 2: 8/10.
1. Life's A B**** (Rockwilder Remix)
2. The World Is Yours (Vibesman Remix)
3. One Love (Nick "FURY" Remix)
4. It Ain't Hard To Tell (Nick "FURY" Remix)
5. On The Real (produced by Marley Marl)
6. Star Wars (produced by Large Professor)
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5.0 out of 5 stars Illmatic 2004, April 4 2004
This review is from: Illmatic (Audio CD)
1994: Nas drops his highly anticipated album "Illmatic". Critics were astounded and The Source gave it 5 mics. "Illmatic" became a special chapter in Hip Hop History. And Nas.....Nas became one of the best artists in Hip Hop, period.
2004: 10 years after the first release of "Illmatic", Nas drops this "Illmatic" 10th anniversary edition. All original tracks are digitally remasterd and they sound better than ever. There's also a second disc with 4 remixed Illmatic tracks. Remixed by Rockwilder, Vibesmen & Nick Fury. All the tracks sound very good. Especially "It ain't hard to tell", this sounds even better than the original. Nas even spits some new rhymes over this one. There are also 2 new recorded songs, "On the real" & "Star Wars". With these 2 songs, Nas shows us that he's ready to shock the world again, like "Illmatic", with his upcoming new DOUBLE-album, "Street's Disciple". I can't wait.
Nas is coming back, and with Jay-Z being re-TIRED, Nas is ready to reclaim his title as New York's King.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Without a doubt, Nas' best work ever, March 20 2004
By 
The Gifted One (Charlotte, North Carolina) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Illmatic (Audio CD)
Illmatic is unquestionably Nasty Nas' best album. Not It Was Written, Stillmatic, nor God's Son. Nas released this album at the age of 21. It featured production from the legendary DJ Premier, Pete Rock, Large Professor, and L.E.S. Now into the review.
The album starts off with a short intro called "The Genesis". Then it proceeds into "NY State of Mind". This song in my opinion, is lyrically Nas' best song ever. Just check out the first couple of bars of the first verse. Nas' internal rhyme scheme rivals that of Rakim himself. DJ Premier provides a rugged beat that goes perfectly with Nas' lyrics. Next is "Life's a B***h" featuring AZ. The production on this track is just marvelous. AZ and Nas also come correct. AZ's flow and lyrics are just perfect on this song, Nas' are good too but AZ ends up stealing the show. This song is followed by "The World is Yours". Production by my favorite producer of all time Pete Rock. Nas' lyrics on this song are meant to inspire young and poor people in the NY area. One of my favorite songs on the LP. "Halftime" is just amazing. The beat is addictive and Nas' lyrics come off strong as usual. "Memory Lane" is my favorite song on the entire album. The production on this song is flawless and it's just a track you can vibe to. This is one that you could put on repeat and just relax. On "One Love" Nas raps about those who are in prison. He gives a shout out to many, including future arch rival Cormega. Q-Tip does the hook for this song. The next song, "One Time 4 Your Mind" is my least favorite on the album. The production is kind of on the weak side and Nas' lyrics are good but his flow is off a bit. This is the track that I sometimes skip. "Represent" was a street anthem. The uptempo beat by DJ Premier makes this one a favorite of those who need to get hyped. "It Ain't Hard to Tell" is the final track on the album. Lyrically, this song is only surpassed by "NY State of Mind". You can hear the sample of Michael Jackson's "Human Nature" built into the song. Lines like "From the spliff that I lift and inhale" makes this one a true gem. I remember seeing this video on TV back when BET used to play good music.
Illmatic is a true classic and a must have for any hip-hop fan. Even if you don't like Nas you should have this album. There are only a few shortcomings on the LP. It's on the short side, only about 40 minutes total. I personally like longer albums better just so long as they don't have any filler tracks. You won't find any truly wack songs on Illmatic. One Time 4 Your Mind isn't as strong as the other songs but it's not completely wack either. Everyone, I recommend you buy this album.
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Illmatic (Vinyl)
Illmatic (Vinyl) by Nas (LP Record - 1994)
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