The Quietus - A new rock music and pop culture website


Nas' Illmatic Set For 20th Anniversary Edition
Sarah Ward , February 5th, 2014 07:42

Double-disc reissue, as well as live shows and documentary, on the way

To celebrate the 20th anniversary of his landmark debut Illmatic, Nas is re-releasing the album as Illmatic XX, with a bonus disc of freestyles and remixes, as well as unreleased tracks, on April 15 via Sony Legacy - head over to Rap Genius, who have a first spin of the Stink Mix of 'It Ain't Hard To Tell' from the reissue's second disc.

The album remains a testament to life in the projects of New York in the mid-90s, a piece of social commentary, bravado and philosophy that inspired Jay-Z and a host of East Coast rappers who emerged in its wake. Says Nas in the press release: "With Illmatic, I didn't think about it. I just did it. I believe everybody has good instincts. Now I’m a man from that past and I'm supremely grateful. There's a Nigerian proverb, 'What is past is prologue'. I'm here today because of Illmatic." He will also be turning in sets at Washington's John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and Coachella, while later in the year a feature-length documentary, Time Is Illmatic, will follow. The directorial debut of One9, and produced by Erik Parker, former music editor of Vibe magazine, it traces the social and musical factors that influenced Nas in the lead-up to the album’s release in 1994, including his jazz trumpeter father Olu Dara, the Queensbridge area of New York and the nascent 80s hip hop scene.