Illmatic Nas

539 Words3 Pages
Life's a bitch and then you die. Illmatic is the product of a world filled with crushed dreams. In this world, you either wilt under the nightmare or you punch your way through the darkness. Nas managed to do the latter. As an inner-city youth surrounded by crime and poverty, Nas ponders desperation and hope in equal measure. Two decades deep, Illmatic is still the ultimate blueprint for gritty street rhymers and boom bap disciples alike. Released just five months before Nas' 21st birthday, Illmatic established him as a fully formed savant. He rained metaphors, griped about the bleak options in front of him and dreamed of a less dangerous future. The harsh realities depicted on Illmatic are not always Nas'. "One Love," for example, is a letter to an incarcerated friend. "NY State of Mind" is a survey of the street corners where "stick-up kids run up on us" in broad daylight and "crews without guns are goners." He opens "Memory Lane" with a nod to his target audience: "listeners, blunt heads, fly ladies and prisoners, Hennessey holders and old school ni--as." Queensbridge is a rec...

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