5 Things You Might Not Know About Illmatic

Monday, December 1, 2014

To get you prepped up for Nas' Sugar Mountain appearance next year, we're going to give you some facts of things you might need to know before you see him. Many consider Illmatic as a hip hop masterpiece. Released in 1994, the album was given perfect review scores by reviewers across the world. Here are some things you might not know about Illmatic.

It Only Took Nas One Take To Do 'N.Y. State of Mind':
It takes many rappers hundreds of takes to perfect a track - not Nas. 'N.Y. State of Mind' is considered one of songs that defines his career, and all it took was one recording to get it right. In 2012 DJ Premier said "If you listen to 'N.Y. State of Mind', you'll hear him going 'I don't know how to start this shit,' because he literally just wrote it. Before he started the verse I was signalling him going, 'One, two, three,' and he just goes in."

Busta Rhymes Could Have Had The 'Halftime' Beat:
This happens a lot - rappers pass on beats because it doesn't suit their project. Pusha T could of had the 'N----s In Paris' beat, but instead it was sold to Jay Z and Kanye. Busta Rhymes told XXL that he watched Large Professor make the beat in front of him, but he passed it. He regretted passing on the beat once he heard what Nas did with it.

The Album Was Rushed:
One of the things that makes the album unique is it's length - its only 39 minutes long. Apparently Columbia wanted the album released quickly as a garage was found with 60,000 bootleg copies. Sometimes less is more and I don't think it needed to be any longer.

The Image On The Cover is Nas As A Child:
The photo was taken after his father, musician Olu Dara, returned home from an overseas tour. Nas said that he chose that photo as the age 7 was symbolic for him, "That was the year I started to acknowledge everything [around me]. That's the year everything set off. That's the year I started seeing the future for myself and doing what was right. The ghetto makes you think. The world is ours. I used to think I couldn't leave my projects. I used to think if I left, if anything happened to me, I thought it would be no justice or I would be just a dead slave or something. The projects used to be my world until I educated myself to see there's more out there."

Nas' Dad Features on 'Life's A Bitch':
The trumpet solo at the end of the track is performed by Nas' dad who was an innovative Jazz artist. His father had played with avant-garde musicians such as Art Blakely and David Murray.

Nas will be appearing at Sugar Mountain 2015 in Melbourne and sideshows across the country 

Tuesday January 20th 2015
The Tivoli, QLD 

Tuesday January 22nd 2015
Enmore Theatre, NSW

Tuesday January 23rd 2015
Enmore Theatre, NSW

Tuesday January 24th 2015
Sugar Mountain, Victorian College of Artist, VIC

Tuesday January 25th 2015
Forum Theatre, VIC

Tuesday January 27th 2015
Metro City, WA

Tuesday January 29th 2015
Thebarton Theatre, SA