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!
CNN recently crowned Nas the greatest lyricist of all time. Who knows why CNN decided to throw their hat in that ring? Maybe Anderson Cooper is dating a fan of Nas. Maybe Ted Turner misses having Nas as a tennis buddy in Atlanta and is hoping that flattery will be as persuasive as Kelis’ milkshake to get him back. The most likely reason is that Nas’ lyrics just sound more like the news than anyone else's. If you enjoy listening to a sociology class lecture, and equally enjoy weaker beat selections, then Nas is the rapper for you.
Both albums are great. No question.
No clever dialogue need. Just watch.