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Backed by an absolute all-star cast of new york's top-shelf producers - Premier, Pete Rock, Large Rrofessor, Q-Tip and a youngster named L.E.S. - the album never lets up. Serious to a fault, and lyrically dense to an extent that has possibly never been matched, the 20-year old Nas stood on the shoulders of his predecessors and proudly proclaimed, 'Don't fuck with the east' we are back'. 'Illmatic' was actually a slow-burn, which might surprise fans that have come to its genius more recently. Despite an unheard-of '5 Mics' rating in The Source - breaking an unwritten rule of never awarding classic status to debuts - it didn't go gold until early 1996, and didn't hit platinum status until late 2001.

Nas - Illmatic - Vinyl LP


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