Illmatic (studio album) by Nas

Illmatic
Illmatic by Nas
Year: 1994
Overall rank: 71st   Overall chart historyOverall chart history
Average Rating: 
86/100 (from 1,394 votes)
  Ratings distributionRatings distribution   Average rating historyAverage rating history
Accolades:
Award Top 5 albums of 1994 (3rd)
Award Top 20 albums of the 1990s (14th)
Award Top 100 albums of all time (71st)
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Availability

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American Teen by Khalid Record Album
Condition: Used
Time left: 6h 24m 37s
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Nas - Illmatic 10th Anniversary Platinum Edition [New CD]
Condition: Brand New
Time left: 10h 45m 50s
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Illmatic Explicit Lyrics Parental Advisory ed. Nas Audio CD discs : 1 Pop Rap
Condition: Brand New
Time left: 18h 29m 57s
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Nas bestography

Illmatic is ranked as the best album by Nas.

Nas album bestography « Higher ranked This album (71st) Lower ranked (2,441st) »
-IllmaticIt Was Written

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Illmatic track list

  Track ratingsTrack ratings The tracks on this album have an average rating of 88 out of 100 (all tracks have been rated).

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1.
Rating: 82 (279 votes)Comments: 5
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Rating: 91 (390 votes)Comments: 3
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Rating: 88 (301 votes)Comments: 5
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Rating: 87 (302 votes)Comments: 2
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Rating: 88 (292 votes)Comments: 4
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Illmatic rankings

Illmatic collection

Illmatic ratings

Average Rating: 
86/100 (from 1,394 votes)
  Ratings distributionRatings distribution Average Rating = (n ÷ (n + m)) × av + (m ÷ (n + m)) × AV
where:
av = trimmed mean average rating an item has currently received.
n = number of ratings an item has currently received.
m = minimum number of ratings required for an item to appear in a 'top-rated' chart (currently 10).
AV = the site mean average rating.

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5 hours ago PadName  Ratings distributionRatings distribution 64082/100
 
85/100
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5 days ago simlavoie  Ratings distributionRatings distribution 43491/100
 
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06/05/2021 18:54 Aaron98  Ratings distributionRatings distribution 54368/100
 
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06/01/2021 08:24 Bendransfield  Ratings distributionRatings distribution 7497/100
 
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05/30/2021 14:31 colinfelipe  Ratings distributionRatings distribution 40281/100

Rating metrics: Outliers can be removed when calculating a mean average to dampen the effects of ratings outside the normal distribution. This figure is provided as the trimmed mean. A high standard deviation can be legitimate, but can sometimes indicate 'gaming' is occurring. Consider a simplified example* of an item receiving ratings of 100, 50, & 0. The mean average rating would be 50. However, ratings of 55, 50 & 45 could also result in the same average. The second average might be more trusted because there is more consensus around a particular rating (a lower deviation).
(*In practice, some albums can have several thousand ratings)

This album is rated in the top 1% of all albums on BestEverAlbums.com. This album has a Bayesian average rating of 86.2/100, a mean average of 84.2/100, and a trimmed mean (excluding outliers) of 86.3/100. The standard deviation for this album is 18.4.

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Illmatic comments

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Rating:  
95/100
From 04/08/2021 17:42
A masterpiece of hip-hop, rap, vocals, and sampling. Top level 90s hip hop.
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | +1 votes (1 helpful | 0 unhelpful)
Rating:  
100/100
From 02/07/2021 07:49
The best hip hop album of all time. It encapsulates everything.
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | +3 votes (3 helpful | 0 unhelpful)
Rating:  
75/100
From 01/03/2021 15:41
Illmatic is the stuff of legend. An absolute classic, the album of albums. Nas creates his magnum opus already on his debut and everything else he's done since is simply oveshadowed by this once in a lifetime achievement. If you 've only heard one hip hop album, there is a good chance it's this one (or at least it should). If you asked me which is my favorite hip hop album, I wouldn't pick it. If I was asked to name what I consider the best hip hop album, it would be one of the main contenders, but I 'm not sure if I'd pick it. But if you asked me what hip hop is or how it should sound, I would immediately and without any hesitation point to Illmatic. Comprised of 10 tracks and clocking in at just below 40 minutes, he doesn't put a foot wrong throughout the whole thing, making it so very accessible. I don't think I've ever heard a negative review of it and any arising disagreements have to do with the comparison of the songs (I can remember pretty much every song except the intro getting the nod by at least one person as the best of the album), but the overall quality of the album is beyond any kind of dispute.
The album is a masterclass in every aspect. An impressive lineup of producers manage to create a sound that on the one hand is a product of its time, based on boom bap with many "jazzy" vibes, but they cram enough innovations so that after all these years it isn't dated at all. The structure of the songs is verse-heavy and the choruses are kept to a minimum, allowing Nas to shine through the captivating delivery of his lyrics. Yeah, his lyrics. Not much to say there, universally appraised and endlessly quoted since day one.
The intro is titled Genesis and makes it clear from the get-go that this is gonna be the Bible of hip hop. N.Y. State of Mind is considered by many to be first among equals i.e. the best song of the album. It has been noted that sampling Rakim's Mahogany was a symbolic move indicating that the heir to the throne is here. More importantly, though, it sets the scene for the rest of the album, introducing us to life in New York ("The city never sleeps, full of villains and creeps That's where I learned to do my hustle, had to scuffle with freaks") and of course contains the iconic line "I never sleep, 'cause sleep is the cousin of death" which perfectly encapsulates the New York state of mind. Next comes Life’s a Bitch, which is actually my favorite song of the album. It is the only one featuring a guest (AZ). He is nothing short of spectacular, giving Nas a run for his money and almost stealing the show. The song explores some typical existential themes from a unique point of view and demonstrates their attitude towards life ( AZ: "So, until that day we expire and turn to vapors Me and my capers will be somewhere stackin' plenty papers", Nas: "I switched my motto; instead of sayin', "Fuck tomorrow!" That buck that bought a bottle could've struck the lotto") and contributes another huge quote in "Life's a bitch and then you die, that's why we get high ‘Cause you never know when you're gonna go". In The World Is Yours it's that charming piano sample that stands out, plus we get a rare moment of softness/weakness ("Born alone, die alone, no crew to keep my crown or throne I'm deep by sound alone, caved inside, 1,000 miles from home I need a new nigga for this black cloud to follow ‘Cause while it's over me it's too dark to see tomorrow"). Two of the next three songs, namely Halftime and One Love, are for me the two -I don't wanna say low points, because they aren't low at all- least memorable tracks. Memory Lane (Sittin' in da Park) has a soul-ish touch that does a lot for the song itself and also works in the context of the album. One Time 4 Your Mind feels somewhat underrated ("Shit, cold, be starvin' make you wanna do crimes, kid But I'ma lamp ‘cause a crime couldn't beat a rhyme"), I appreciate that they went for something different and followed a slower approach. Represent is my second favorite, as it has to my ears the best beat and an all around amazing sound. The closing track
It Ain't Hard to Tell is one of the best bragging songs -sampling MJ can't be wrong - you can possibly encounter ("It ain't hard to tell, I kick a skill, like Shaquille holds a pill").
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | +2 votes (2 helpful | 0 unhelpful)
Rating:  
100/100
From 12/09/2020 16:02
An essential hip hop record.
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | +1 votes (1 helpful | 0 unhelpful)
Rating:  
90/100
From 11/29/2020 15:48
Cool album
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | -1 votes (0 helpful | 1 unhelpful)
Rating:  
80/100
From 11/18/2020 17:38
A quantidade de pedrada que tem nesse álbum daria pra construir a muralha da China!
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | 0 votes (0 helpful | 0 unhelpful)
Rating:  
80/100
From 11/07/2020 03:14
Refreshing to hear a hip-hop album that is really focused on a single voice whose talent merits it.
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | +1 votes (1 helpful | 0 unhelpful)
Rating:  
100/100
From 10/18/2020 09:32
Fav. Tracks: N.Y. State Of Mind, Life's A Bitch, The World Is Yours, One Time 4 Your Mind, It Ain't Hard To Tell.
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | +1 votes (1 helpful | 0 unhelpful)
Rating:  
60/100
From 09/28/2020 22:45
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Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | -5 votes (0 helpful | 5 unhelpful)
Rating:  
100/100
From 06/24/2020 18:34
This is hip hop's A Love Supreme. A ridiculous 40 minute onslaught that happened to be the sound of the future. Raw and visceral yet so beautifully calculated and crafted. Art.
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | 0 votes (1 helpful | 1 unhelpful)

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Best Albums of 1994
1. Grace by Jeff Buckley
2. Weezer (The Blue Album) by Weezer
3. Illmatic by Nas
4. Dummy by Portishead
5. Definitely Maybe by Oasis
6. The Downward Spiral by Nine Inch Nails
7. MTV Unplugged In New York by Nirvana
8. Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain by Pavement
9. Superunknown by Soundgarden
10. Parklife by Blur
11. Dookie by Green Day
12. Ready To Die by The Notorious B.I.G.
13. The Holy Bible by Manic Street Preachers
14. Dog Man Star by Suede
15. Bee Thousand by Guided By Voices
16. Let Love In by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
17. The Division Bell by Pink Floyd
18. Vitalogy by Pearl Jam
19. Jar Of Flies by Alice In Chains
20. Throwing Copper by Live
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