It's difficult to say anything that hasn't already been said before, as we've had exactly 20 years to process the greatness that is Nas' 1994 debut, Illmatic. Basically everything that needs to be said has already been said. Without even hearing a single beat, sample or rhyme from the album, you already know what Illmatic is. And with 20 years under its (championship) belt the acknowledgement of its greatness is brought right back up on its anniversary, including the release of director one9's Nas: Time Is Illmatic, a documentary film that chronicles the circumstances leading up to the groundbreaking record. And we here at iHipHop thought we would honor Nas' Illmatic in the only way we see fit: counting down the album's 20 absolute best lyrics. Of course, this was quite a daunting task for us seeing as there's easily more than 20 incredible, groundbreaking lyrics on Illmatic. But we tried our best. After the jump!
It's hard to fathom but The Notorious B.I.G.'s seminal masterpiece from 1994, Ready to Die, officially turns twenty. The album is, to this day, renowned in the hip-hop community not only for its incredible longevity but its stark storytelling about growing up in the ghetto and experiences as a young criminal. The album was significant in pushing hip-hop as an art form and critics took note, praising Biggie for his poignant, semi-autobiographical lyrics and vivid imagery. We thought it would be fitting to look back at these said lyrics, primarily those that are still ill to this very day. See the full list after the jump.