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Complex: 10 Ways Nas' "Illmatic" Changed Hip-Hop

Fri, Apr 19, 2013 at 4:38 PM by User 0 Comments

ime is illmatic. Nas's debut album Illmatic is the crown jewel of the mid-'90s classics that still define the genre. Unlike Biggie's Ready to Die or Jay-Z's Reasonable Doubt, which were released in its wake, Illmatic was the game-changer that forever transformed the landscape of East Coast hip-hop. Not only did it establish Nas as the Best Rapper Alive for 1994. it raised the stakes for hip-hop production, lyrical technique, content, and overall artistic ambition. As the album's first single announced off top: “It ain’t hard to tell, I excel then prevail.”

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