On this day in Hip Hop history, Nas released his debut studio album, 'Illmatic', in 1994.
Released by Columbia Records, the album debuted at number 12 on the US Billboard 200 chart, selling 94,000 copies in its first week. The album was certified gold by the RIAA in 1996 and earned a platinum plaque in 2001. 'Illmatic' is widely regarded as one of the greatest and most influential albums of all time, appearing on numerous best album lists by critics and publications.
With the release of 'Illmatic,' Nas established himself as a hip-hop icon and blossomed into one of the biggest artists in the music scene. The legendary album has been praised by critics as one of the greatest hip-hop records of all time. Also contributing to the revival of the New York City rap scene, 'Illmatic' is one of the most celebrated and influential albums in history today. Nas from Queensbridge neighbourhood, well known for its contributions to hip hop and rap music, and has been home to some of the most influential musicians in the genre, has sold over 20 million albums worldwide, an ambassador for hip-hop culture around the world.
"I think I was a real serious guy at a young age," says Nas. "I was a kid who came up in the '80s, and I was into always writing, and then rap came into my life. So when I look back now, it all makes sense – this is what I was supposed to do." Nas told USA Today
Produced by DJ Premier, Q-Tip, Pete Rock and L.E.S ... a "Rhythmic Perfection."
Even today, Illmatic plays a major role, especially for many artists, but also for academics and writers. Alicia Keys, Talib Kweli or Wiz Khalifa describe the album as the role model for their work.
Listen to Illmatic below.