One of hip hop’s most acclaimed bodies of work, Nas’ debut album “Illmatic” just recently hit the 25 year mark. With many of rap’s top tier artists from past to present citing the 10 track project as one of their inspirations to emcee, “Illmatic” has truly stood the test time and can be considered a classic. On it’s 20 year anniversary, Nas performed the entire album with the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. and the performance video and live audio was released last year to consumers.
With the 25th anniversary passing recently, Nas celebrated NYC with his team at a pop up titled “Illmatic XXV: Memory Lane”. He spoke with hip hop journalist and Queens native Shaheem Reid about his outlook on the milestone. Also present was long time collaborator and comrade AZ, who was the only feature on the album.
To also bring the moment full circle, Mass Appeal spoke with some of the “architects of Illmatic”. These people were either involved directly or indirectly with the album’s creation and release. These include producers like DJ Premier, DJ LES, & Large Professor. Also included are Nas’ brother Jungle (from The Bravehearts), journalist Miss Info, A&R Faith Newman, and more. Click the playlist below to see there stories of how “Illmatic” came to be what it is today……A HIP HOP CLASSIC.
Veteran hip hop artist Tech N9ne and his Strange Music team just don’t stop! With one of the busiest tour schedules and a roster of artists that continue to consistently drop music, there’s no wonder that Tech N9ne is considered the biggest independent hip hop artist in the world. With the release of his new album, “N9NA”, he has just delivered what is his 21st solo studio album. His career is one that has suffered many downs and ups, but Tech keeps coming.
Leading his album off is his visual to the song “Like I Ain’t”. The lyrics find the Kansas City emcee spitting about some of his many accomplishments and collaborations in music during his 20 plus year run. Name dropping some of the culture’s elite breed of rappers, Tech ensures that he is still going to do his thing “like he ain’t never” do any of it. There’s a difference in being hungry and thirsty. With all the success he has, seems that Tech N9ne is still hungry. #PRESSPLAY
“Championships” is the latest studio release from rhyme slinger Meek Mill. Following the earlier release of his Jeremih and PnB Rock featured single, “Dangerous”, the album features appearances from Jay-Z, Rick Ross, Cardi B, Future, Ella Mai, 21 Savage, Kodak Black, and more. There’s also a feature from Meek’s former rhyme rival Drake, a good look which follows their public appearance together during a performance on Drake’s latest tour. #PRESSPLAY
Right on time for Thanksgiving, the legendary hip hop group The Diplomats drops a reunion album, “Diplomatic Ties”. Also known as Dipset, the collective consists of veteran rappers Cam’ron, Jim Jones, Juelz Santana, and of course the ever energetic hypeman/rapper Freekey Zekey.
The project stands 9 tracks long and features appearances from Trav, Belly, The Lox, Tory Lanez, and Dipset affiliate Un Kasa.
Yesterday, Dipset dropped a visual for “On God”, a track off the project which features Belly. #PRESSPLAY
Welcome Back to the game, Dipset. Stream below and leave your comments. Is it hot or not? #PRESSPLAY