Nas’ classic debut album Illmatic has officially been inducted into the Library of Congress. The album is one of 25 recordings that were inducted and it marks the second biggest achievement in Nas’ career this month alone. After winning his first GRAMMY for Best Rap Album a few weeks ago, 2021 is Escobar season.
Librarian of Congress, Carla Hayden, explained the significance of this year’s inductees.
“The National Recording Registry will preserve our history through these vibrant recordings of music and voices that have reflected our humanity and shaped our culture from the past 143 years.”
Released in 1994 on Columbia Records, Illmatic is the debut album from 20 year old Nasty Nas. It received a 5 Mic review in The Source and is highly considered as one the best hip hop albums of all time. With its rich storytelling, intricately detailed verses and it’s all-star line up of producers, it’s only right that this hip hop masterpiece has been inducted.
Described under the category of “Music That Endures,” Nas’ Illmatic was described as such.
“Some albums inducted this year into the recording registry demonstrated the power to influence entire genres of music. When Nas released his 1994 hip-hop album “Illmatic,” it was celebrated for its rhythmic originality and complexity, and its technique has been widely copied since.”
“The album featured (along with Nas’ father Olu Dara) the sample-soaked production of a set of deeply talented and experienced producers including Q-Tip, Large Professor, Pete Rock, L.E.S. and DJ Premier. The sound they forged features gritty drums, hazy vinyl samples and snatches of jazz and ‘70s R&B. It has been described as the sound of a kid in Queensbridge ransacking his parents’ record collection.”
It’s a joy to see Nas receiving his much deserved recognition. With 25 years under his belt, it’s important to give the OGs their flowers while they’re still with us. Congratulations Nas!
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Grant Boyer is a hip hop head at heart from Chicago, IL. Some of his all-time favorite artists are J. Cole, Jay-Z, Kendrick Lamar, Pharrell, and Biggie. When he’s not writing, he’s playing his Nintendo Switch, watching Seinfeld reruns, and collecting vinyl and cool hip hop collectibles. The coolest hip hop collectible he owns is an original Jay-Z Dead Presidents cassette from 1995. He’s also wondering if anybody has a working cassette player he can borrow.