Tuesday, December 16, 2008

763. Nas - Illmatic (1994)

Track Listing

1. The Genesis
2. N.Y. State Of Mind
3. Life's A Bitch
4. The World Is Yours
5. Halftime
6. Memory Lane (Sittin' In Da Park)
7. One Love
8. One Time 4 Your Mind
9. Represent
10. It Ain't Hard To Tell


Another pretty good hip-hop album coming out of the East Coast. This is also one of those highly considered albums that, much like the Chronic for West Coast, I just don't find that amazingly impressive.

It is good and all, but we've just recently had better an more original stuff here on the list like Jeru the Damaja. There's not much wrong with Illmatic but there is also not much that is that impressive.

The fact that it is less "experimental" or alternative than other stuff at the time might be the explanation to why it had a wider impact, it is simpler and possibly has a wider appeal, but honestly it didn't really endear me to it, the lyrics are good, the music is good but nothing to make it merit it's place in hip-hop history.

Track Highlights

1. Life's a Bitch
2. One Love
3. N.Y State Of Mind
4. Halftime

Final Grade



From Wikipedia:

Several critics immediately hailed Illmatic as a masterpiece, and is one of the most celebrated and influential albums in hip hop history. Illmatic redefined the musical milieu of East Coast hip hop in the mid-1990s, resulting in a renewed focus on lyricism and in the revival of the Queensbridge rap scene. In spite of this, the initial record sales fell below expectations. Although some criticized the album for its brevity (it contained only nine songs and one skit; unusual for a hip hop album), the general reaction was overwhelmingly positive. Pitchfork Media listed the album at number thirty-three in its "Top 100 Albums of the 1990s". As one of the website's writers, Hartley Goldstein asserts: "Illmatic is the meticulously crafted essence of everything that makes hip-hop music great; it's practically a sonic strand of the genre's DNA." It was listed as one of thirty-three hip hop/R&B albums in Rolling Stone's "Essential Recordings of the 90s".

Yeah... not really.


1 comment:

Rod McBan said...

But this has "Life's a Bitch", "NY State of Mind" and "Halftime" all on one album. The rest of the album could just be some guy blowing into a jug and this'd still be a classic.

By which of course I mean that I respect your opinion entirely. I never really clicked with the Wu-Tang Clan, for example.