Illmatic este albumul de debut al lui Nas și a fost lansat în data de 19 aprilie 1994, prin Columbia Records, unde a ajuns cu ajutorul lui MC Serch care este și producătorul executiv al albumului și a fost înregistrat în perioada 92-93, la studiourile Chung King Studios, D&D Recording, Battery Studios și Unique Recording Studios în New York City, piesele fiind produse de Nas, Large Professor, Pete Rock, Q-Tip, L.E.S. și DJ Premier.
Albumul a debutat pe locul 12 în topul Billboard 200 cu 59 000 de unități vândute. În ciudat faptului că albumul nu a avut parte de un număr mare de vânzări, a primit foarte multe laude din partea criticilor, iar în data de 17 ianuarie 1996, albumul a fost aur de Recording Industry Association of America, iar în 2001 platină, depășind 1 milion de unități vândute.
|1.||"The Genesis"||N. Jones, F. Braithwaite||Nas, Faith N.||1:45|
|2.||"N.Y. State of Mind"||N. Jones, C. Martin||DJ Premier||4:54|
|3.||"Life's a Bitch" (featuring AZ)||N. Jones, A. Cruz, O. Dara, R. Wilson, O. Scott||L.E.S., Nas (co.)||3:30|
|4.||"The World Is Yours"||N. Jones, P. Phillips||Pete Rock||4:50|
|5.||"Halftime"||N. Jones, W.P. Mitchell, G. Byrd||Large Professor||4:20|
|6.||"Memory Lane (Sittin' in da Park)"||N. Jones, C. Martin, R. Wilson, P. Barsella||DJ Premier||4:08|
|7.||"One Love"||N. Jones, J. Davis, J. Heath||Q-Tip||5:25|
|8.||"One Time 4 Your Mind"||N. Jones, W.P. Mitchell||Large Professor||3:18|
|9.||"Represent"||N. Jones, C. Martin||DJ Premier||4:12|
|10.||"It Ain't Hard to Tell"||N. Jones, W.P. Mitchell||Large Professor||3:22|
|2004 remaster edition bonus disc|
|1.||"Life's a Bitch (Remix)" (featuring AZ)||N. Jones, D. Stintson||Rockwilder||3:00|
|2.||"The World Is Yours (Remix)"||N. Jones, K. Rankin, O. Glover, T. Aviles, M. Fortunato||Vibesmen||3:56|
|3.||"One Love (Remix)"||N. Jones, N. Loftin, T. Bell, D. Williams||Nick Fury||5:09|
|4.||"It Ain't Hard to Tell (Remix)"||N. Jones, N. Loftin||Nick Fury||3:26|
|5.||"On the Real"||N. Jones, M. Williams, I. Hayes, D. Porter||Marley Marl||3:26|
|6.||"Star Wars"||N. Jones, W.P. Mitchell||Large Professor||4:08|
|1.||"I'm a Villain"||4:30|
|2.||"The Stretch Armstrong And Bobbito Show On Wkcr October 28, 1993" (featuring 6'9", Jungle and Grand Wizard)||7:46|
|3.||"Halftime" (Butcher Remix)||4:36|
|4.||"It Ain't Hard to Tell (Remix)"||2:49|
|5.||"One Love" (LG Main Mix)||5:32|
|6.||"Life's a Bitch" (Arsenal Mix) (featuring AZ)||3:30|
|7.||"One Love" (One L Main Mix) (featuring Sadat X)||5:43|
|8.||"The World Is Yours" (Tip Mix)||4:28|
|9.||"It Ain't Hard to Tell" (The Stink Mix)||3:20|
|10.||"It Ain't Hard to Tell" (The Laidback Remix)||3:36|
|"The Genesis" |
|"One Time 4 Your Mind" |
"One Love" (Remix)
"One Love" is composed as a series of letters by Nas to his incarcerated friends, describing events that have occurred prior to and after the receivers' imprisonment. "One Love" contains samples of the Heath Brothers' "Smilin' Billy Suite Part II" (1975) and Parliament's "Come In Out the Rain" (1970). In the song's first verse, Nas references fellow Queensbridge emcee Cormega, whose rapping career had been put on hold due to his incarceration during the early 1990s. In 2008, VH1 named "One Love" the forty-eighth greatest hip hop song.
rapper Nas. It was the third single from his debut album Illmatic, released a month after the album. It is considered by some music critics one of the greatest hip-hop songs ever recorded; About.com ranked it seventh greatest rap song of all time. The song was produced by Pete Rock—who also sings the song's chorus—and samples "I Love Music" by Ahmad Jamal and "It's Yours" by T La Rock. It reached #13 on the Hot Rap Singles chart in 1994.
The song (including the title) and its accompanying video pay homage to the film Scarface. The song also references drug dealer/crime boss Howard "Pappy" Mason. The song also mentions the serial killer of the Texarkana Moonlight Murders, which that went, and still are, unsolved.
A remix of the song was produced by Q-Tip featuring similar but new lyrics; both it and the original were released by Columbia Records as singles, and promoted with music videos.
Songs that have sampled "The World Is Yours" include:
- "Dead Presidents" by Jay-Z.
- "Thief's Theme" by Nas.
- "Usual Suspects" by Rick Ross featuring Nas and Kevin Cossom
- "Jealousy Woes II" by Eminem.
- "Thief's Theme" by Jigmastas.
- "In Remembrance" by Blu & Exile.
- "Droga" by Hemp Gru.
- "Falling" by 1982 featuring Freddie Gibbs.
- "President" by Lil Wayne.
- "Better?" by Propellerheads.
- "Dead Presidents" by Chamillionaire.
- "Dead Prez" by Capital STEEZ.
- "Nikes On My Feet" by Mac Miller.
- "Dead Presidents" by Logic.
- "The World Is Yours" by The Visioneers.
- "My World (Nas Salute)" by Jay Electronica.
- "The World Is Yours (Blazo Remix)" by Blazo.
- "The World Is Yours / Brooklyn Zoo" by BadBadNotGood.
Illmatic by the rapper Nas. Although the track was technically the second single on the album, it was the first single to be released after the album was pressed in 1994. The first single, "Halftime," was released two years prior to Illmatic 's debut.
"It Ain't Hard to Tell" was produced by Large Professor, the song samples Michael Jackson's 1983 hit single "Human Nature", "N.T." by Kool & the Gang, "Why Can't People Be Colors Too?" by The Whatnauts, "Long Red" by Mountain & "Slow Dance" by Stanley Clarke. The single reached #91 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
In 1991, Nas recorded a demo tape for Columbia Records, featuring the original version of "It Ain't Hard to Tell" named "Nas Will Prevail". This version is roughly 90 seconds longer, includes longer different verses, and has a more subdued, jazzier beat close to the album version. Pitchfork Media's included the song at number 28 on their Top 200 Tracks of the 90s.
rapper Nas, released under his original moniker of "Nasty Nas". It was originally recorded for the Zebrahead soundtrack album, released October 13, 1992, on Ruffhouse Records. "Halftime" was produced by Large Professor and features samples from "Schoolboy Crush" by Average White Band, "Hawaiian Sophie" by Jaz-O, "Soul Traveling" by Gary Byrd, and "Dead End" by Japanese Hair. The song was later included on Nas' influential 1994 debut album, Illmatic.
"Halftime" features an up-tempo beat led by percussion and trumpets over which Nas rhymes. Memorable lines include "You couldn't catch me in the streets without a ton of reefer/That's like Malcolm X, catchin' the Jungle Fever" and "I'm as ill as a convict who kills for phone time."  Nas also uses this song to give a "shout-outs" to Willie "Ill Will" Graham, Nas' childhood neighbor and best friend, who was shot dead on 1992, and the Queensbridge Crew, a reference to the Queensbridge housing projects in Queens, NY, USA. He also reveals he's a fan of Marcus Garvey, the Jackson 5 and Mr. Magic.