Illmatic / Nas

Often cited as one of the best hip-hop albums of the '90s, Illmatic is the undisputed classic upon which Nas' reputation rests. It helped spearhead the artistic renaissance of New York hip-hop in the post-Chronic era, leading a return to street aesthetics. Yet even if Illmatic marks the beginning of a shift away from Native Tongues-inspired alternative rap, it's strongly rooted in that sensibility. For one, Nas employs some of the most sophisticated jazz-rap producers around: Q-Tip, Pete Rock, DJ Premier, and Large Professor, who underpin their intricate loops with appropriately tough beats.
1 It Aint Hard to Tell 3:22
2 The Genesis (Explicit Album Version) 1:47
3 New York State of Mind 4:54
4 N.Y. State Of Mind (Explicit Album Version) 4:52
5 Life's A Bitch (Explicit Album Version) 3:30
6 The World Is Yours (Explicit Album Version) 4:46
7 Halftime (Explicit Album Version) 4:20
8 Memory Lane (Sittin' In Da Park) (Explicit Album Version) 4:7
9 One Love (Explicit Album Version) 5:23
10 One Time 4 Your Mind (Explicit Album Version) 3:18
11 Represent (Explicit Album Version) 4:11
12 It Ain't Hard To Tell (Explicit Album Version) 3:22