Soul Strut 100: # 25 - Nas - Illmatic

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  • francois parkerfrancois parker formerly know as Parkz. 116 Posts
    batmon said:
    1.
    6. "Memory Lane (Sittin' in da Park)" - ehhh...good story/lyrics, mediocre beat

    Oh man I love that beat.

  • francois parker said:
    batmon said:
    1.
    6. "Memory Lane (Sittin' in da Park)" - ehhh...good story/lyrics, mediocre beat

    Oh man I love that beat.

    Me, too. I think it's one of the best on the album, which is saying a lot. I think the weakest beat is "One Time 4 Your Mind" (which I still think is good), but to each his own, different strokes, etc.

  • james said:
    SIRUS said:
    swv came about before.
    Oh shit--how could I forget?!

    When they first dropped, all three of them were in ads and shit wearing those unfashionably severe Terminator shades, so for a good while I really thought "SWV" stood for "Sisters Without Vision"--like being blind was their gimmick or something. I was quite the knucklehead.

    lol!!!

  • My original faves are still my all-time faves: "It Ain't Hard To Tell" which I had on an early Columbia promo (along with Xscape), and Zebrahead's "Halftime"

  • DawhudDawhud 213 Posts
    I remember when this album dropped and seeing the review in "The Source". When I saw it was 5 mics and that it was only really 9 tracks, I was like GTFOH. Don't get me wrong, this is one of my all time fav LPs, but at 1st I just didn't want to SAY it was 5 mics because time is what usually defines a classic and I wanted a larger track list. But... I was a 14 year old punk kid in middle school, so BLAM.

  • Illmatic, Doggystyle, Cuban Linx, all were at least 50% available before their release (shit Doo Wop had a tape where he basically played the WHOLE Doggystyle album). To me that doesn't/ didn't make any if them any less incredible. To hear them in complete, mixed, mastered form with cover art and all that and to hold the album in my hands and most importantly the musical staying power that they had is what makes them unfadeable. Red Alert ran the JB's in to the ground on Kiss. Didn't make the album any less spectacular when it came out.

  • batmonbatmon 27,574 Posts
    drbrownscelray said:
    Illmatic, Doggystyle, Cuban Linx, all were at least 50% available before their release (shit Doo Wop had a tape where he basically played the WHOLE Doggystyle album). To me that doesn't/ didn't make any if them any less incredible. To hear them in complete, mixed, mastered form with cover art and all that and to hold the album in my hands and most importantly the musical staying power that they had is what makes them unfadeable. Red Alert ran the JB's in to the ground on Kiss. Didn't make the album any less spectacular when it came out.

    50% of Illmatic is 5 songs. Take away the Intro and Halftime, what's left?
    Those other albums left alot to get into. Doggy has 16 and Cuban Linx has 18.

    When Red was setting us up for Straight Out The Jungle, he didnt overwork the album tracks.
    Thats was one radio show burnin the JB's cause BLS wasnt playing rival Red's artist. This was in 88.
    Nas in 93/94 had a mixtapes and radio throwing haff that shit out there.

    For me its like seeing most of the movie on bootleg, then finally seein it whole, and asking "so that's it?"

    My boy's buddy brought the tape over when it finally dropped. The three of us sat w/ it and i asked him "didn't u hear that shit 50 times already?"
    The magic of hearing the small amount of "un-played" tracks next to the new shit, wasn't enuff for me to be super-open.

  • Controller_7Controller_7 4,052 Posts
    But it still has nothing to do with the quality of the album. It just sucks for you that you were an early adopter.

    Watching most of a movie on bootleg and then seeing the real thing has absolutely nothing to do with the quality of the product. I 100% understand why it didn't have the impact for you as it did others, but that's just the way the cookies crumbled. I'm not even trying to be a jerk to you about it. I totally get why you feel the way you do, but it's not going to change how anyone else feels.

  • jamesjames chicago 1,863 Posts
    batmon said:
    50% of Illmatic is 5 songs. Take away the Intro and Halftime, what's left?
    Those other albums left alot to get into. Doggy has 16 and Cuban Linx has 18.

    When Red was setting us up for Straight Out The Jungle, he didnt overwork the album tracks.
    Thats was one radio show burnin the JB's cause BLS wasnt playing rival Red's artist. This was in 88.
    Nas in 93/94 had a mixtapes and radio throwing haff that shit out there.

    For me its like seeing most of the movie on bootleg, then finally seein it whole, and asking "so that's it?"

    My boy's buddy brought the tape over when it finally dropped. The three of us sat w/ it and i asked him "didn't u hear that shit 50 times already?"
    The magic of hearing the small amount of "un-played" tracks next to the new shit, wasn't enuff for me to be super-open.
    Wow. This approach to evaluating a cultural product is disappointingly art-averse and bizarrely novelty-driven. I mean, if you didn't like it, fine, you didn't like it, but unless you were like twelve years old in '94, man, that's some fucking weird algebra to use in writing it off to such an extent.

    "I had already ate some lettuce and tomato on Monday, drank some ketchup on Tuesday, had a ground beef patty on Wednesday, and a spoonful of mustard on Thursday, so when my man showed up with a hamburger on Friday, I was like, 'Whatever.' Dudes are all geeked over some mayo and a bun? GTFOOHWTBS"

  • batmonbatmon 27,574 Posts
    james said:
    batmon said:
    50% of Illmatic is 5 songs. Take away the Intro and Halftime, what's left?
    Those other albums left alot to get into. Doggy has 16 and Cuban Linx has 18.

    When Red was setting us up for Straight Out The Jungle, he didnt overwork the album tracks.
    Thats was one radio show burnin the JB's cause BLS wasnt playing rival Red's artist. This was in 88.
    Nas in 93/94 had a mixtapes and radio throwing haff that shit out there.

    For me its like seeing most of the movie on bootleg, then finally seein it whole, and asking "so that's it?"

    My boy's buddy brought the tape over when it finally dropped. The three of us sat w/ it and i asked him "didn't u hear that shit 50 times already?"
    The magic of hearing the small amount of "un-played" tracks next to the new shit, wasn't enuff for me to be super-open.

    Wow. This approach to evaluating a cultural product is disappointingly art-averse and bizarrely novelty-driven. I mean, if you didn't like it, fine, you didn't like it, but unless you were like twelve years old in '94, man, that's some fucking weird algebra to use in writing it off to such an extent.

    "I had already ate some lettuce and tomato on Monday, drank some ketchup on Tuesday, had a ground beef patty on Wednesday, and a spoonful of mustard on Thursday, so when my man showed up with a hamburger on Friday, I was like, 'Whatever.' Dudes are all geeked over some mayo and a bun? GTFOOHWTBS"

    This approach to evaluating a cultural product

    Overrated = "writing it off" & "didnt like it"?

    An art show has 5 paintings in a group show for three months that many local folks saw.
    They then open a "new" show w/ 10 paintings, which half of them were from the group show.
    What's your "approach"?

  • I'd go for a burger.

  • LokoOneLokoOne 1,823 Posts
    batmon said:
    AZ

    So who here thinks that AZ'z verse is the best on the whole album?

    We used to get into drunk debates about this years ago.

    BTW- A top ten - will be blasting this till I'm old and deaf - album.

    Despite different producers and songs recorded in different periods the LP has a unifying consistency and interconnected feel to it...everything works well together - no song stands out like it doesn't belong... and they are all exceptional.

    Dont know if its true that Nas went through almost 100 beats before he chose the ones he did....

  • jamesjames chicago 1,863 Posts
    batmon said:
    Overrated = "writing it off" & "didnt like it"?
    "Overrated" = "writing it off to [some] extent", yeah. And you sound like you didn't like it. Or at least you sound like your opinion of it was influenced considerably by the kind of weird number shit that doesn't usually hold much sway over people who like something.

    An art show has 5 paintings in a group show for three months that many local folks saw.
    They then open a "new" show w/ 10 paintings, which half of them were from the group show.
    What's your "approach"?
    My approach is: Context matters.

    Five paintings from an artist mean one thing. Those five paintings can mean something different in the context of five more.

    There's an author I really like who published a story in Granta a few years back. A couple years later, she published a story collection where the story from Granta was now part of a suite, one of three stories about the same characters. The two new stories affected my reading of the old one. And when I bought and read the collection, I was engaged and happy to be taking in a total work from an author I liked. I sure as shit didn't sit there like, "Aw man, this is wack--I've already read a third of this!"

    There's five times two, and then there's ten, you know?

  • batmonbatmon 27,574 Posts
    batmon said:
    Overrated = "writing it off" & "didnt like it"?
    "Overrated" = "writing it off
    to [some] extent", yeah. And you sound like you didn't like it. Or at least you sound like your opinion of it was influenced considerably by the kind of weird number shit that doesn't usually hold much sway over people who like something.

    An art show has 5 paintings in a group show for three months that many local folks saw.
    They then open a "new" show w/ 10 paintings, which half of them were from the group show.
    What's your "approach"?
    My approach is: Context matters.

    Five paintings from an artist mean one thing. Those five paintings can mean something different in the context of five more.

    There's an author I really like who published a story in Granta a few years back. A couple years later, she published a story collection where the story from Granta was now part of a suite, one of three stories about the same characters. The two new stories affected my reading of the old one. And when I bought and read the collection, I was engaged and happy to be taking in a total work from an author I liked. I sure as shit didn't sit there like, "Aw man, this is wack--I've already read a third of this!"

    There's five times two, and then there's ten, you know?

    Context matters. Granta and Illmatics time spread is different. Theres a pre album street hype build up with Illmatic.
    Was there for that collection?
    And again I never said wack. Thats on you.

  • jleejlee 1,539 Posts
    what has always surprised me about the legacy of this album is how it did NOT produce a myriad of other rappers trying to keep an album tight with only a dozen-or-so songs. Time and time again I believe the best thing about this album is how concise it was. Not that much Nas was doing at this time was bad per se, but add 5-6 more tracks to this album (It was written had 16 tracks) and for all we know we are talking about a "meh" album.

    I can't count the number of times I wish my favorite artists would have cut about 4 or 5 tracks (or a full extra CD -- Wu-Tang Forever) and perhaps I would have enjoyed the album more.

    Illmatic was perfect in many ways...and the "keep them wanting more" number of tracks is one of the better components to this album.

  • sticky_dojahsticky_dojah New York City...humanheadnyc.com 2,109 Posts
    james said:
    those unfashionably severe Terminator shades

    Erm, I'm still rocking them to this day. 92 Terminator edition. And I'm not blind.

  • cai said:
    Incredible album.. but.. The production on Life's a Bitch and It Ain't Hard To Tell always stuck out to me. Great songs individually but the more slick 80s sound didn't fit in with the other album tracks for me. What I mean is its not the perfect record some make it out to be.


    Not the Ain't Hard To Tell remix Large Pro did. So much better than the original:



  • SIRUSSIRUS 2,554 Posts
    i've always liked the OG more than the remix. same thing with fast life.

  • rootlesscosmorootlesscosmo 12,848 Posts
    This may be the 90's rap album I've played more times front-to-back than any other (which may admittedly owe somewhat to its brevity).

    The idea that because some of the joints had already circulated makes the tape less dope has mystified me ever since it was first expressed on here like 7 yrs ago and continues to mystify me.

    Like any great album, the "favorite song" award has changed hands countless times over the yrs. I have to say the last verse on "Represent" is the best moment for me currently (has been for the last 2-3 yrs prolly).

  • DuderonomyDuderonomy Haut de la Garenne 7,208 Posts
    Solid Steel killin' it again:



    Geoffrey Sumner Train Sequence Decca
    Nas Freestyle On Stretch & Bobbito ᅴ93 Mp3
    Zorro Dialogue Wild Style First Run Features
    Lee Erwin Thief Of Baghdad Angel Records
    Nas Interview Mp3
    Nas Represent Columbia
    Whodini One Love Columbia
    Nas One Love (lg Instrumental) Columbia
    Nas Interview Mp3
    The Heath Brothers Smilinᅴ Billy Suite Strata-east
    Parliament Come In Out Of The Rain Invictus
    Nas One Love (one L Main Mix) Columbia
    Nas Memory Lane Columbia
    Nas Memory Lane (dj Premier Remix) Columbia
    Craig G Droppinᅴ Science Cold Chillin'
    Lee Dorsey "get Out My Life, Woman" Stateside
    Nas Feat. Az Lifeᅴs A Bitch (acapella) Columbia
    Nas Feat. Az Lifeᅴs A Bitch (arsenal Mix) Columbia
    Nas Feat. Az Lifeᅴs A Bitch (buckwild Remix) Columbia
    Nas The World Is Yours (tip Mix Instrumental) Columbia
    Nas Interview Mp3
    Ahmad Jamal I Love Music Impulse!
    Nas The World Is Yours Columbia
    Nas The World Is Yours (acapella) Columbia
    Dj Moneyshot Stretchᅴs Freestyle Beat Mp3
    Bobbito Garcᅴa On The Phone To M$ Mp3
    Nas Freestyle On Stretch & Bobbito ᅴ93 Mp3
    Nas Life Is Like A Dice Game (unreleased) Mp3
    Mountain Long Red (live) (drums) Island
    The Gap Band Yearning For Your Love Mercury
    Stanley Clarke Slow Dance Epic
    Eric B. & Rakim Mahogany Mca
    Nas Interview Mp3
    Joe Chambers Mind Rain Muse
    Donald Byrd _ Flight Time (loop) Blue Note
    Kool & The Gang N.t (drums) De-lite Records
    Nas N.y State Of Mind Columbia
    Main Source Feat. Nas Live At The Barbecue Wild Pitch
    Nas Interview Mp3
    Mc Serch Feat. Nas Back To The Grill Again Def Jam
    T La Rock & Jazzy Jay It's Yours Partytime Records
    Nas Understanding (unreleased) Mp3
    Biz Markie Nobody Beats The Biz Cold Chillin'
    Nas It Aint Hard To Tell (large Professor Remix Instrumental) Columbia
    Michael Jackson Human Nature Epic
    Nas It Aint Hard To Tell (acapella) Columbia
    Nas It Aint Hard To Tell Columbia
    Average White Band School Boy Crush (drums) Atlantic
    Japanese Hair Cast Dead End Rca Victor
    Nas Half Time (butcher Remix) Columbia
    Nas Half Time Columbia
    Gary Byrd Soul Travellinᅴ Rca Victor
    Nas Iᅴm A Villain (unreleased) Mp3
    The Blue Jays What Do You Want From Me Woman? Map City
    Nas Just Another Day In The Projects (unreleased) Mp3
    Nas Interview Mp3
    Reuben Wilson We're In Love Blue Note
    Chris Stein Subway Theme Animal Records
    Zorro Dialogue Wild Style First Run Features

  • DB_CooperDB_Cooper Manhatin' 7,823 Posts
    james said:
    "I had already ate some lettuce and tomato on Monday, drank some ketchup on Tuesday, had a ground beef patty on Wednesday, and a spoonful of mustard on Thursday, so when my man showed up with a hamburger on Friday, I was like, 'Whatever.' Dudes are all geeked over some mayo and a bun? GTFOOHWTBS"

    PUTS MAYO ON A BURGER

  • rootlesscosmorootlesscosmo 12,848 Posts
    rootlesscosmo said:

    The idea that because some of the joints had already circulated makes the tape less dope has mystified me ever since it was first expressed on here like 7 yrs ago and continues to mystify me.
    .

  • batmonbatmon 27,574 Posts
    rootlesscosmo said:
    rootlesscosmo said:

    The idea that because some of the joints had already circulated makes the tape less dope has mystified me ever since it was first expressed on here like 7 yrs ago and continues to mystify me.
    .

    Ill go back in.

    Rebel Without a Pause was a B-side to Your Gonna Get Yours from the first album.
    Radio and the skreets was burnin' that single after the album and its singles had faded.
    Then when Nations came out it was tacked on. For the folks that didnt get the 12"...here u go....but within that suite it was to me a carry over from a previous SET. And didnt have the same "contextual" importance as the lead off singles of that suite....Bring The Noise & Dont Believe The Hype. Rebel wasnt touted as the debut single for Nation, but you could hear the stylistic evolution.
    Nations had plenty of other tracks to make the album when it dropped, after the opening singles, to FEEL fresh & new as an entire Suite.

    Halftime was worn out by the time I heard the street releases of the Illmatic.
    After hearing a couple of joints from Halftime all over the place, by the time I heard the full suite ( being only 10 tracks), the suite didnt feel fresh and new, but just a finally realized date that I had already met the parents and finger-poppped in the back seat already.

  • parallaxparallax no-style-having mf'er 1,266 Posts
    batmon said:
    ...the suite didnt feel fresh and new, but just a finally realized date that I had already met the parents and finger-poppped in the back seat already.



    SMH

  • Controller_7Controller_7 4,052 Posts
    I get what Batmon is saying. It's his experience and it makes sense to me. The impact wasn't the same. People seem to just be taking issue with the idea that he's maybe discounting it's overall greatness, but I don't think that's the case. He's just saying it doesn't have that same greatness for him because it plays more like a comp of songs he'd heard over time and had already run to death more than it does an overall experience.

    If anything, it's just a "sucks for him" kind of thing considering most people enjoy this album as a whole.

  • batmonbatmon 27,574 Posts
    Controller_7 said:
    I get what Batmon is saying. It's his experience and it makes sense to me. The impact wasn't the same. People seem to just be taking issue with the idea that he's maybe discounting it's overall greatness, but I don't think that's the case. He's just saying it doesn't have that same greatness for him because it plays more like a comp of songs he'd heard over time and had already run to death more than it does an overall experience.

    If anything, it's just a "sucks for him" kind of thing considering most people enjoy this album as a whole.

    Thank you 7.

  • rootlesscosmorootlesscosmo 12,848 Posts
    It's always hard to disassociate a record from your personal experience of it. I get that.

    But the Soulstrut Top 100 is a list of great albums, many of which none of us had heard till long after they had been released.

    Illmatic seems like a tape that (more so than almost any other) fools like to nitpick because it was (a) short and because (b) some tracks came out too long before the full album. I guess I just don't see how it takes away from the overall merits of the album itself (in contrast to your personal experience of it, which was clearly diminished on account of those factors).

    Controller_7 said:

    it's just a "sucks for him" kind of thing considering most people enjoy this album as a whole.
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