Saying that Nas is one of the greatest of all time is an understatement. Included on many hip hop heads’ “Top 5” lists, Nas has garnered the respect of listeners, peers, and elder statesmen over the span of 20 plus years. His official entry into the game, “illmatic”, continues to be celebrated as a groundbreaking album that changed the course of hip hop during the time of it’s release in 1994. Nas is also credited with being an influence on rappers from his generation to the current day.
With an extensive catalog that mirrors his career and growth as an artist (12 studio albums, 3 collaborative albums, 3 compilation albums, 1 extended play, and 78 singles), Nas has recorded a great deal of material. Over the years, Nas made promises to release the follow up to his critically acclaimed, fan favorite album, “The Lost Tapes”. After reported label issues and disagreements, the album has now been delivered in the form of “The Lost Tapes 2”. With production from Pharrell Williams, RZA, Swizz Beatz, Kanye West, NO I.D., and more, the album boast to be a strong fix of the Nas hip hop heads know and love. #PRESSPLAY Stream here, courtesy of Spotify
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.
Hip Hop icon Nas drops a visual to his latest project NASIR. The 7 track album features all production and one guest verse from the ever controversial Kanye West. Titled “NASIR – The Film”, the video clocks in at sixteen minutes and 5 seconds. It features all songs from the album and visuals that reflect the lyrics of the songs as well as social commentary that address current issues affecting the people of the culture.