Dem Vinyl Boys
Dem Vinyl Boyz EP 29 - Illmatic
Dem Vinyl Boyz are back diving straight into Nas’ debut studio album “Illmatic”. This album was released on April 19, 1994, by Columbia Records, produced by DJ Premier, Large Professor, Pete Rock, Q-Tip, L.E.S., and Nas himself. Nas, who was twenty years old when the album was released, focuses on depicting his own experiences, creating highly detailed first-person narratives that deconstruct the troubled life of an inner city teenager. Nas said in an interview in 2001: “When I made Illmatic I was a little kid in Queensbridge trapped in the ghetto. My soul was trapped in Queensbridge projects.”
Styled as a hardcore hip hop album, “Illmatic” features internal rhymes and inner-city narratives based on Nas’ experiences growing up in the Queensbridge Houses in Queens, New York City. In a 2012 interview, Nas explains what he wants the take away from his album to be, he says “I want you to know who I am: what the streets taste like, feel like, smell like. What the cops talk like, walk like, think like. What crackheads do — I wanted you to smell it, feel it. It was important to me that I told the story that way because I thought that it wouldn’t be told if I didn’t tell it.” The album debuted at number 12 on the US Billboard 200 chart, selling 63,000 copies in its first week. However, its initial sales fell below expectations and its five singles failed to achieve significant chart success. Despite the album’s low initial sales, “Illmatic” received rave reviews from most music critics, who praised its production and Nas’ lyricism.
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