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Illmatic [Vinyl] Import

4.7 out of 5 stars 892 customer reviews

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Vinyl, Import, April 15, 1994
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Editorial Reviews

Import only budget vinyl pressing of this classic 1994 release. Debut release from Nas (Nasir Jones) that features DJ Premier and Q-Tip from a Tribe Called Quest.
  • Sample this album Artist - Artist (Sample)
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Product Details

  • Vinyl (April 15, 1994)
  • Original Release Date: April 15, 1994
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Columbia Europe
  • ASIN: B00004WX4X
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (892 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #862 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
When I first laid this incredible piece of vinyl on my turntable, I wasn't sure of what to expect. I saw the credits, the amazing producers recruited (Primo, Large Professor, Q-Tip, etc.), but I definitely wasn't ready for the lyrical masterpiece that painted pictures of the sorrowful ghetto life right in front of my eyes, with so much depth that even Mr. Suburbanite could understand the trials and tribulations of the streets. Nas stepped into the studio with his skills and a blunt (or two or three) and spit description-packed lyrics that tell stories in a way nobody else ever can. There are greats like Slick Rick and others, but Nas' smoke-filled voice graces the track and compliments the beat so perfectly that you'd almost think the pulse of the music ran through his veins. And maybe it does. Nas feels the rhythm and gives a new melody to the songs with his original style, a style that many have emulated, but no one can master. Nas was truly ahead of his time with this album. In a time when slow, easily understandable rhymes over mainstream bass beats were popular, Nas stayed true and kicked wisdom for those true rap heads in the streets, displaying a mastery of the language with abundant metaphors and intensely descriptive flows that draw you into the music. Nas' true heart-felt emotion is apparent on all of these tracks, and in songs such as 'One Love,' where Nas is writing a letter to a friend in prison, it's easy for the listener to get caught up and lament the losses of all those other 'not-so-fortunates.' In a time when knowledge-based, lyrically-focused, rhyme-oriented hip-hop is on the B Side, and even Nas himself has fallen off into the league of the Ruff Ryders, this is a record you should have on your top shelf as a constant reminder of times past and possibilities to come, because Nas truly dropped a classic gem.
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Format: Audio CD
Let me preface my review by saying that the original Illmatic album (Disc One of this edition) is an undeniable classic, five stars, without a doubt. But as a whole, this 10 Year Anniversary Edition only gets three stars (I really wanted to give it two), and the primary reason is Disc Two.
The bottom line: this is so much LESS than it could have been.
I love remixes, but the four remixes included here...they just don't work. I don't want to hear Illmatic-era lyrics over 2004-radio-rapper beats. The best of the four is the "It Ain't Hard To Tell" remix, which does have a hardcore, yet updated feel to it. Nas spits some different lyrics (perhaps he re-recorded them for this edition), which is cool. The worst is the "One Love" remix; it inexplicably features censored lyrics, which completely ruins the song, especially when they edit words like "nine" and "L's." Come on. What a waste.
Perhaps the biggest problem I have with including these subpar remixes is the fact that there are already some great remixes of these songs THAT WEREN'T INCLUDED! I'm referring to the remixes done back in '94 and '95 when these songs were released as singles. The Q-Tip remix of "The World Is Yours" and the Arsenal Mix of "Life's a B****" are outstanding. "One Love," "It Ain't Hard To Tell," and "Halftime" were all remixed back in the day, and quite well too. I would argue that these remixes make up a large part of the Illmatic mystique, and they should have been included in this celebratory anniversary collection. I mean, why not? OPEN UP THE VAULTS!
Another thought: if you are going to create some new remixes of these songs, why not bring in the original producers to do the job?
Read more ›
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Format: Audio CD
OK, some cats come on here saying don't believe the hype, or that the album lacks beats, but they don't know what they're talking about. One cat even had the temerity to compare the Illmatic Nas to Eminem. To question the beats on this album is to show your stupidity in relation to the hip hop game. DJ Premier is known as one of, if not the best producer ever along with Dre. One is the best on the east, the other on the west. Large P is also thorough on the beats, and this album has nothing but the best beats. The lyrics are fresh, hungry, and still steeped in the streets.
The best albums in hip hop history all came out right around the same time : 1994. Illmatic, Ready to Die, Southernplayalistik, Illadelph Half Life and Reasonable Doubt each vie for that title. In reality, it comes down to the debut albums from the Kings of NY, BIG and Nas. BIG had filler on his album, and stupid skits. Illmatic is just pure hip hop from beginning to end. A 40 minute oasis of what hip hop should always strive to be. A window to the streets combined with storytelling ability and lyrics that weave themselves together seamlessly.
New York is Hip Hop, and this is the best NY has ever produced.
Don't ever forget, this album is widely acknowledged as the finest in the history of hip hop by all the wisest rap scholars. You think some joker from Toronto or Washington State knows more about hip hop and what's raw than the sages of hip hop culture? I think not.
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Format: Audio CD
You know how adults always say they wish they could be younger again. I wish Nas could be younger again. At age 20 (?) Nas released "Illmatic".....then as he grew in age, his tight grip on the edge of the streets began to slip...this is a review by myself, a professional critic (lol), of possibly the greatest hip-hop album ever released.
Positive: Basically everything about the cd was positive. With head-noddin' beats, and Nasty Nas' compelling lyrics, describing his life as he grew up in the projects. The dopest songs? "The World is Yours" (with assistance from the soul brother, Pete Rock), "Halftime", the deep, "One Love", with Q-Tip, and "It Ain't Hard to Tell", my personal favorite. Every one a classic, everyone amazing.
Negative: Nothing.
Complaints: That Nas ever left his Nasty Nas form to transform into Nas Escobar. =(
Ratings:
Beats: 5 Lyrics : 5
Best Song: It Aint Hard to Tell Beat: 5 Lyrics : 5
peace
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