Complex's First Impressions: The 50 Best Album-Opening Songs in Rap History
N.Y. State of Mind overlays two gorgeous pieces of 1970s jazz—Mind Rain by Joe Chambers and Flight Time by Donald Byrd—and from that point somehow channels every enshrouded sound of nighttime in an uncertain corner of New York City.
Stealthy and shuffling, N.Y. State of Mind could only have been written by someone familiar with the fine art of home invasion. At the time it was popular to sample sirens and police radio transmissions to evoke the paranoiac stew of ghetto reality, but Nas and DJ Premier didn't need of that to bring Queensbridge to record.
BY: LEILA ORTIZ