Nas Announces the Year of Illmatic XX: A Celebration of the Landmark Album That Made Him an Icon

Tue, Feb 4, 2014 at 8:00 AM by User 10 Comments

Nas has announced that his seminal debut album, Illmatic, will be released as a special 20th Anniversary Edition, titled Illmatic XX, on April 15th by SONY Legacy. This exclusive collection will feature several rare remixes, unreleased demos and freestyles to commemorate the anniversary. is now exclusively streaming the “It Ain’t Hard To Tell (Stink Mix).” PRESS HERE to listen now. In addition, fans can now pre-order the 2CD set on iTunes and both the 2CD set and 1LP vinyl via Nas has also announced that he will be touring the U.S. and performing the groundbreaking Illmatic from front to back to celebrate the release. The tour will kick off with special performances  this spring at both the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts as well as this year’s Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival. Further details surrounding the tour will be released in the coming weeks.  

“With Illmatic, I didn't think about it. I just did it. I believe everybody has good instincts. Now I’m a man from that past and I'm supremely grateful. There's a Nigerian proverb ‘What is past is prologue’.  I'm here today because of Illmatic.” - Nas  

Tracklisting: Disc 1: Remastered original album

1. The Genesis  

2. N.Y. State Of Mind  

3. Life's A Bitch  

4. The World Is Yours  

5. Halftime  

6. Memory Lane (Sittin' In Da Park)  

7. One Love

8. One Time 4 Your Mind

9. Represent

10. It Ain't Hard To Tell    

Disc 2: Demos, Remixes & Live Radio

1. I'm A Villain (previously unreleased)

2. The Stretch Armstrong and Bobbito Show on WKCR October 28, 1993 (previously unreleased freestyle)

3. Halftime (Butcher Remix)

4. It Ain't Hard To Tell (Remix)(promo single)

5. One Love (LG Main Mix)

6. Life’s A Bitch (Arsenal Mix)(promo single)

7. One Love (One L Main Mix)

8. The World Is Yours (Tip Mix)

9. It Ain't Hard To Tell (The Stink Mix)(UK single)

10. It Ain't Hard To Tell (The Laidback Remix)(UK single)  

In conjunction with the release, Time Is Illmatic – a feature length documentary film that examines the album – will be released in 2014. The movie, from first-time filmmakers One9 (director/producer) and Erik Parker (writer/produer), delves into the making of Illmatic; the social conditions that created it; and the music legacy passed down from Nas’ Mississippi-born father and celebrated jazz musician, Olu Dara. Time Is Illmatic is supported by The Ford Foundations’ Just Films and Tribeca All Access. More information will be released on the film in the coming months.  For more information go to  

With the release of Illmatic, Nas quickly established himself as a hip hop icon and has become one of the hottest artists on the music scene today. The landmark album has been lauded by critics as one of the most exemplary hip hop recordings of all time.  Illmatic contributed to the revival of the New York City rap scene and has been consistently ranked near the top of many “best album” lists. Today, the collection remains one of the most widely celebrated and influential albums in history with Rolling Stone proclaiming, "a portrait of an artist as a hood, loner, tortured soul, juvenile delinquent, and fledgling social critic… [the album] still stands as one of rap's crowning achievements.” NPR Music called the collection “[a] masterwork of story-telling, lyricism and beat-making,” while upon the album’s release, The Village Voice gave Nas the title of, "one of the most important writers of the 20th century."      

Nas emerged from the Queensbridge neighborhood of Long Island City, a hotbed of rap artists since the ’80s. The son of jazz trumpeter Olu Dara, he has since gone on to sell over 20 million albums worldwide over the span of his legendary career, and has acted as an ambassador for hip-hop culture throughout the globe. Since the release of Illmatic, he has released 9 solo albums and 3 compilations all of which have been certified double-platinum, platinum and gold. His most recent release was 2012’s Life Is Good, which debuted at #1 on the Billboard Top 200, marking the sixth #1 album that Nas has produced in his career. The collection also received four GRAMMY nominations bringing the rap icon’s GRAMMY recognition count to 13 overall.



  1. Juridakus avatar

    On Fri, May 1, 2015 at 7:03 PM, Juridakus said:

    Nasir ! Simply the best. I am now 34 years old, and my wife always asking me how many Nas songs can you listening a day. Just return her a smile :) For Great music no times. Just keep good work man, we are always enjoying.

  2. JULENE avatar

    On Sat, Feb 8, 2014 at 7:55 PM, JULENE said:

    Congrats Youngster~:-)... <3

  3. SupremeScience avatar

    On Wed, Feb 5, 2014 at 12:20 PM, SupremeScience said:

    Congratulations Nas! I've been a fan since "Live At The Barbeque" I'm proud of all your accomplishments. Nas is The Greatest! A fan from day one and forever! One Love.

  4. Brotha Z avatar

    On Wed, Feb 5, 2014 at 11:01 AM, Brotha Z said:

    Congratz Nasir Jones on the 20 year old classic "Illmatic"... You have continued to set the record straight for Hiphop kulture from jump. Kudos


  5. SLINK JESUS avatar

    On Wed, Feb 5, 2014 at 12:04 AM, SLINK JESUS said:

    Nas is the greatest one of the best one of my favorites

  6. beef avatar

    On Tue, Feb 4, 2014 at 5:23 PM, beef said:

    I'm fulfilled being a huge fan since genesis. I'm glad you have an adage coming from Nigeria. We need you more than never.

    “With Illmatic, I didn't think about it. I just did it. I believe everybody has good instincts. Now I’m a man from that past and I'm supremely grateful. There's a Nigerian proverb ‘What is past is prologue’. I'm here today because of Illmatic.” - Nas

  7. Kingbishop1973 avatar

    On Tue, Feb 4, 2014 at 4:39 PM, Kingbishop1973 said:

    Been a Nas supporter since live at the barbecue. Hip hop ain't dead. It just matured and got responsible. You've come full circle with decades under your belt. Respect to you and your many accomplishments past and in the future. And keep your eye out for Jake baby boy onelove!

  8. jhtdc avatar

    On Tue, Feb 4, 2014 at 4:26 PM, jhtdc said:

    Congrats on the 20th anniversary of the greatest hiphop album ever recorded. Soundtrack to my teenage years and still in regular rotation. Wishing you continued sucess fam. ~ @jhtdc

  9. giannishamari avatar

    On Tue, Feb 4, 2014 at 4:22 PM, giannishamari said:

    Congratulations, Nas! I cannot believe it has been almost two decades since Illmatic exploded on the rap scene. What an accomplishment!

  10. Sotobeans avatar

    On Tue, Feb 4, 2014 at 4:15 PM, Sotobeans said:

    Hell yeah Nas! Continued success to you man! I've been down since the 90s! Still ridin' and hope you can make it to Denver!! Love your shows at the Fillmore!

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