Illmatic (studio album) by Nas
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Illmatic is ranked as the best album by Nas.
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Illmatic track list
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Showing latest 5 ratings for this album. | Show all 1,527 ratings for this album.
|Rating||Date updated||Member||Album ratings||Avg. album rating|
|2 hours ago||VVNVR||248||71/100|
|3 days ago||bonnequestion||1,356||70/100|
|5 days ago||rafaelcalazans||1,563||53/100|
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This album is rated in the top 1% of all albums on BestEverAlbums.com. This album has a Bayesian average rating of 86.3/100, a mean average of 84.2/100, and a trimmed mean (excluding outliers) of 86.3/100. The standard deviation for this album is 18.3.
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It might be my favorite rap record everz banger after banger after banger, simply amazing beats, top notch rapping skills amd many quotable lines.
A fun and creative listen that utilises brilliant samples to create an infectious and catchy hip hop album. Nas also demonstrates one of the best flows ever found on any hip hop album. This results in a smooth experience for the listener that we can so easily get lost in. His choice of sampling is fantastic as well with them transforming songs like N.Y. State Of Mind, The World Is Yours and It Ain't Hard To Tell. All 3 of these songs are classics of the hip hop genre and the influence these songs, as well as the rest of the album, would have on music is evident as so many artists tried to achieve the quality of his flow and samples. Overall, a thoroughly enjoyable hip hop album which had a huge impact on music and is a demonstration of the quality of Nas.
An absolute classic. Influential and sounds great even today.
It's the bible of rap because everybody copies Nas' flow and he modernized the art of the flow. I like it for this reason and because it captures every vibe of NYC. If you ask me the best hip hop album of all time, it's this one, Marshall Mathers LP, To Pimp A Butterfly, and Good Kid Maad City. But I would say you could listen to Illmatic in way more situations as something to put on. I like the beats on I Am... more but Illmatic has better flow and better lyrics.
Excellent example of linking thematic narratives throughout an album. Good flow, interesting lyrics, limited repetition or filler.
No gimmick, just talent.
A masterpiece of hip-hop, rap, vocals, and sampling. Top level 90s hip hop.
The best hip hop album of all time. It encapsulates everything.
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").
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