Many of you know that I’m not the greatest fan of the 90’s as a decade when it comes to music (or anything else really). But one thing about the 90’s that can’t be argued is both the quality and importance of hip hop music during that time. In the early to mid nineties you had three of the best hip hop records of all time dropping on the east coast during 93-94 - 36 Chambers by the Wu Tang Clan, Ready to Die by Notorious Big and Illmatic by Nas.
East coast inner-city life is fairly messed up to this day but it was especially bad in a pre-Giulianified New York City. Illmatic is an album that gets by on the strength of its singles like “Halftime”, “The World is Yours” and my favorite track: “Life’s a Bitch”
Its a convincing portrait of ghetto life that speaks truth to power in a way that only great music can. Its a shame that Nas has never been able to replicate his initial success. Theres something special about an artist being hungry, especially in hip hop.