For one, Nas employs some of the most sophisticated jazz-rap producers around: Q-Tip , Pete Rock , DJ Premier , and Large Professor , who underpin their intricate loops with appropriately tough beats.
But more importantly, Nas takes his place as one of hip-hop's greatest street poets -- his rhymes are highly literate, his raps superbly fluid regardless of the size of his vocabulary.
He's able to evoke the bleak reality of ghetto life without losing hope or forgetting the good times, which become all the more precious when any day could be your last. As a narrator, he doesn't get too caught up in the darker side of life -- he's simply describing what he sees in the world around him, and trying to live it up while he can. He's thoughtful but ambitious, announcing on "N. State of Mind" that "I never sleep, 'cause sleep is the cousin of death," and that he's "out for dead presidents to represent me" on "The World Is Yours.
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Please verify that you are not a robot. Would you also like to submit a review for this item? You already recently rated this item. Your rating has been recorded. Release Info Studio Recording. Track Listing - Disc 1. The Genesis. State of Mind. Life's a Bitch. The World Is Yours. Memory Lane Sittin' in Da Park. Peg Barsella. One Love. One Time 4 Your Mind. It Ain't Hard to Tell. Track Listing - Disc 2. I'm a Villain.Originally released in , Illmatic is one of those once-in-a-lifetime touchstone albums that is beloved around the world. A young rapper from Queensbridge, Nas had made a name for himself thanks to show-stealing collabos with Main Source and 3rd Bass, as well as with his single "Halftime" from the Zebrahead soundtrack.