It’s now been 20 years since Illmatic triggered one of first and biggest culture shifts in Music & Hip Hop, Nas sounded like no one else, the lyrics, the delivery, the flow and his lyrical ability was unheard of from a teenager.
Things have changed a lot since then, the Hip Hop landscape is completely different but illmatic still remains one of the greatest albums in Hip Hop and music in general. This is truly ironic since the album performed poorly it’s opening week only selling 59,000 copies and it’s five singles never achieved chart success. In fact it took 7 years for the album to go platinum which was in 2001.
Despite that, the album has become a treasure in Hip Hop and Nas is still top 5 dead or alive. Now it’s time to celebrate this great moment, Nas sits down with BBC Radio 1’s own, Zane Lowe, for an in-depth discussion about everything hip hop, everything Nasir Jones. The two open up about Illmatic, its 20th anniversary and much more, before diving into Nas’ writing style, his creative process, and a lot more during their twenty minute conversation.