Today marks the 24th anniversary of Illmatic, considered one of the greatest rap albums of all-time. It saw 20-year-old Queens-bred Nas pair up with New York producers DJ Premier, Pete Rock, Q-Tip, and Large Professor. Below is the promo video introducing the release.
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“I never sleep, cause sleep is the cousin of death.”Nas, “NY State of Mind”
Nas went on to become one of the greatest lyricists. In 2013, Harvard University established the Nasir Jones Hiphop Fellowship to provide scholars with creative opportunities in the arts. In 2017, Nas sat down with Harvard poetry professor Elisa New to discuss his track “It Ain't Hard to Tell” from the Illmatic album.
Nasty Nas made his recorded debut on Main Source's Live at the Barbeque album as an 18-year-old. He wrote the verse when he was 16. Check out the live clip below: