Sunday, August 16, 2009

Nas: The Illmatic Archives



In Memory of William "Ill Will" Graham

Whenever someone asks me what the greatest rap record of all time is, I throw ‘em three titles: Paid in Full, It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back, and of course… Illmatic. That, to me, is the holy grail – the trinity if you will – of the golden era’s finest albums. And Illmatic, in my opinion, is absolutely flawless, thus earning the top spot amongst the trio. Each track is densely filled with Nas’ clever poetry and wordplay, plus the production is handled by some of the greatest beatsmiths of our time. The short run time, however, always made me hungry for some more.


Over the years I’ve collected a whole bunch of singles, remixes, beats and acapellas by Nas. Of course, the alleged 1991 demo tape had been creeping around the internet for years as well, so I had to snatch that up too. And then last night, while I was wrapping up that Dr. Dre & Snoop Dogg Collaborations compilation, I figured I’d do something similar for Nas. What started as a one disc release – originally dubbed The Illmatic B-Sides – soon grew to two. Then three. Then four. And then I decided “what the heck, I’ll throw the demo tape at the end for kicks”. All in all, this compilation is a 5-disc set chock full of b-sides, remixes, instrumentals, acapellas and other rarities from the Illmatic-era. And thus we traverse from The Illmatic B-Sides to The Illmatic Archives.


Allow me to explain how the discs are divided. Disc one contains b-sides and remixes, mostly taken from Illmatic single releases. Disc two is the full Illmatic album in instrumental form. Not all of the beats were released commercially, so some of these versions are DIY versions. Still, they’re the best you’re gonna find anywhere else! Disc three features the instrumentals from most of the b-side remixes featured on disc one. Disc four contains a few acapellas from the Illmatic album, as well as a pair of instrumentals of tracks from Nas’ demo tape. Disc five is Nas’ 1991 demo tape, including two bonus tracks. Standing at forty-six tracks deep, with a run time of just under three hours, this set is a keepsake for every Nas fan out there. Enjoy… and turn it up!!










Below is a clipped scan from the April '94 issue of The Source Magazine,
featuring a review for Illmatic (courtesy of Philaflava; written by Shortie a.k.a. Miss Info):



Further reading: Illmatic by Matthew Gasteier

25 comments:

  1. Nas's best,something everyone shud listen to before death.I have a feeling,in heaven GOD might ask "Yo, did you hear ILLMATIC back down there?"
    Still wondering did they ever get who shot jerome's neice in the dome piece?

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  2. This, This is Truly Phenom-an-al. That is all that needs to be said!!!

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  3. Thanks I! You should go on youtube and check out 'Nas Rare Interview' before illmatic. hilarious.

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  4. Oh yeah,seen it before but thanks for the reminder anyway.Dude is shy and so laid back and shit.

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  5. Kelis says 'Hey!'

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  6. I've got to agree - this was awesome. Keep up the great work Ivan!

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  7. Ayo, I think the Lab rat breaks version of the N.Y. state of mind instro is in an echelon above. Unless this is that version - ugh. Arigato nonetheless capo.

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  8. was the link deaded? won't work for me...

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  9. Good lookin' on the love, folks! More 'Archives' to come since I know you like this...

    Lab Rat Breaks? Never heard of it. But that NY State of Mind instru. was the best one I could find (and I had a whole bunch that were worse!).

    Jared: Still up!

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  10. Monumental. "Grateful" doesn't even begin to describe.

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  11. any chance of uploading on a different site? rapidshare never seems to work anymore... thanks in advance.

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  12. Hey Ivan

    I thought I'd just let you know that "The Genesis (Instrumental)" is also a D.I.Y.... which I'm pretty sure came from my youtube account (exkimo64). Just thought I'd share this better version that I've been meaning to up on YouTube for a while. I've shared it with others but never upped it.


    So here. The improved "The Genesis (Instrumental) (Exkimo64 Remake)"

    http://www.mediafire.com/?nmnnojnjzjy

    Also would it be alright if you credit the remakes on here to me. One Time 4 Your Mind and The Genesis and the untagging of NY State Of Mind (I didn't do that one though, just untagged and lengthened it)...However I didn't do Represent.


    Also if you go on my YouTube channel I have an UNTAGGED, CDQ, FULL version of Nas Will Prevail. (I only upped it this summer)

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  13. Amazin thanks for this!!!!!
    cant wait to cherckout those diy instros

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  14. Huge Props for this!At least this completes my entire Nas Discography now.

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  15. Please repost these links. Hotfile works. Much appreciated in advance. I love this site!!!

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  16. Can you re-up the links plz

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  17. Can you please re-up?

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  18. yo thanks so much for the upload! could you please re-up disk 4? many thanks!

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  19. Maaaaaaannn re-up pleeeasseee

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