Celebrate The 20th Anniversary of Nas's 'Illmatic' With An Exclusive Interview and Fan Art

It's been two decades since the release of one of the greatest rap albums of all time; so celebrate with our illustrators and reminisce with an interview from The Don.

01 April 2014, 1:02pm

“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'.” - Nas

The importance of Nas's debut album, Illmatic, to hip-hop is immeasurable. Not only did it single-handedly revive New York City's rap scene, it debuted Nas as one of the greatest lyricists of all time. Now, 2014 marks TWENTY YEARS (!!!) since it landed and to honour this occasion Nas is re-releasing a special edition LP to commemorate two decades at the top.

So to celebrate in Noisey style, we've got exclusive interview footage from Mr Escobar himself as he reminisces about his humble beginnings and the birth of Illmatic, alongside some fan art from a bunch of our favourite illustrators.

Happy Nas day, guys!


Nas will be in London performing at Lovebox this coming July (I know, no big deal, right? For more info go HERE)

Illmatic XX 20th Anniversary Release CD / Download / LP is available in the UK 14th April. Grab it from iTunes or Amazon. Stream latest cut "I'm A Villain" below.

By James Lewis

By Dan Evans

By Jon Hill

By Charlotte Mei

By Eliot Wyatt

By Tom Hovey