Nas Celebrates 20 Years of 'Illmatic'
    • THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 13, 2014

    • Posted by: Jake Saunders

    The revolutionary Illmatic is turning 20 this year, and with that not only can we relive the glory days of hip hop (or at least college kids like me can pretend to relive it), but we can also learn a little bit about Nas himself. It was announced yesterday that Xbox Entertainment is planning to release a TV series entitled, Street Dreams, "[which] is set in the 1990s in Long Island City's Queensbridge housing complex, where Nas grew up, and takes a look at music, family and the trials and tribulations of the rap game," according to Deadline.

    Illmatic created and added to a style and voice that East Coast rappers would adopt for years to come. Contemporaries like Mobb Deep, A Tribe Called Quest, The Pharcyde all adopted and contributed elements of the urban hip hop style that has become East Coast rap. Illmatic is being reissued as a two-disk set consisting of the original track list in addition to rare demos, remixes and freestyles. Nas will also be performing the album in full on his tour this year, a serious treat for anyone who manages to catch a performance.

    In addition to all of these amazing Illmatic-related releases, there is also a documentary being made entitled, Time Is Illmatic recounting Nas' life growing up in Queensbridge and how his early life influenced his music.

    Catch an audio sample of an early free style with pre-Illmatic Nas below.

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