April 10, 2014


'Illmatic' at 20: Nas Reflects on His Landmark Debut

On April 19, Nas' landmark debut Illmatic turns 20 and to celebrate, Fuse is looking back on the album with a three-part retrospective special. Featuring all-new interviews from key figures like producers Pete Rock, DJ Premier and Large Professor, plus Nas himself, music fans get an inside look at what’s become a benchmark for New York hip-hop. 

“When I first heard Nas rhyme it was like everything was out of ordinary,” Large Professor recalls. “It was uplifting. It was painful. It was all of that put together. The impact was crazy in New York.”

Illmatic holds a special place in hip-hop fans’ hearts and there’s a reason people keep coming back to it. “It talked about every element of young life in the streets,” Nas says. “You can relate to that in Compton, you can relate to that in Chicago, you can relate to that in Oakland. Same hood stuff is going on. We’re all coming from that same thing.”

Watch the full 3-part Illmatic at 20 special, featuring exclusive photos from legendary New York City photographer Sue Kwon, exclusive interviews, and text by Jeff "Chairman" Mao on Illmatic’s impact right here.