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Fair enough argument for Illmatic but how do you feel about his new joint dropping tomorrow?


better than the chronic?

Jerome Baker

better than the chronic?


Well, at the end of the day, as much as I love The Chronic, it does play more like a compilation album than an album with a single unifying artistic voice and cohesive vision throughout. Unless, of course, you count Dre's musical vision as producer auteur as that unifying vision.


I think Outkast's Aquemini album is still up there as the most grounbreaking and original piece of hiphop to date. Receiving awards for grps like 'kast and A-D mean much more than a backhand to other hip-hop artists. This should be seen as hiphop managing to transcend and grow with the times. Artists like andre 3000 who is forever evolving is still bringing the truest form of hiphop to the masses. Nas may have found his cove to exploit (besides the same ol' same ol' droppin hard lyrics over a sample routine)with the fusion of blues being his new thing too....it's all good.
"Why can't hip-hop be more musical and progressive like these other rappers making real songs?" well, what i get there is 'why can't it be more musical and progressive'...forget the rest. After all, with some hiphop outfits choosing to be so formulaic & rigid, artists who do bring summin new to the table should be encouraged and bigg'd up, not made to feel a(t)lienated just bcoz they're able to expand from beats and breaking. It's about constantly trying to push the boundaries which is what hip hop should be all about shouldn't it? Something fiddy wouldn't be too pleased to hear i'm sure...


See, this is why you need a really old school head like me to pipe in on discussions like this one.

Greatest Hip-Hop Album of all time

"Raising Hell" Run DMC

Let me explain why....
This album broke new ground in so many areas that it is still amazing to think about. Rap/Rock style was perfected by Run DMC. "Walk This Way" was as far as you would think underground heads could go, but everyone felt this song. Crosover appeal for days and it came off smoothly.

Gave hip-hop credibility among the other forms of music that we were considered lower than before...kkkind of like the Rosa Parks of the industry at the time. I know that's reaching but you get my point.

May not be as lyrical as a Nas or Jay, but it IS Run DMC at their very best...Peter Piper, It's Tricky, My Adidas, Rasing Hell, Dumb Girl, and Perfection...for Christ's sake...THIS IS THE BEST HIP HOP ALBUM EVER!

Hip Hop was never the same after this album...emcees had to come with dope mega plat selling, Rolling Stone cover getting, albums after Run DMC "stepped on stage at Live Aid!"

Steven Samuel

I've never felt that Illmatic was a classic. I can appreciate how it stood out amongst the albums of it's time but overall I found it to be good.

First, I was a fan of Nas since Live At The BBQ. I bought the Zebrahead Soundtrack just for Halftime. I bought MC Search's album just to get Nas' verse on Back To The Grill Again. So in what seemed like YEARS to drop, Illmatic finally dropped.

Seven songs. And almost every single song leaked via Jazzy Joyce & DJ S&S.

Another thing that I didn't like was that people were talking about this guy like the next Rakim. Rakim established vocabulary. He established a rhyme flow totally 720 from the norm. He established a whole new look at what a rapper could be. Classy cars. Cristal (Listen to Know The Ledge). But Nas can't control who people compare him to, so I won't harp on this.

However there was always one thing that Nas was missing. ONE COHESIVE SOUND. His album was the first of the 'get all the hot producers' albums. And while *most* of the beats are tight, I don't think it established a sound for Nas.

Personally, I prefer Only Built For Cuban Linx over Illmatic followed by Supreme Clientele.


I think 'Illmatic'' is not as good as Kweli's ''Train of thought''. That is the best hip-hop album ever.


I think 'Blackstar' is also miles ahead of Illmatic, so is ''Beautiful Struggle'', both by Kweli.


Blackstar & Beautiful struggle is almost a full decade after the others is it fair to say? But bringin the 'ish after the usual/monotonous stage in the game of laying vocals over a sample formula would be a whole lot of artists including the emcees mentioned above....for a list of different reasons.....enter the 36 chambers was also up there with the best of them. but classic being timeless belongs to in my opinion, outkast, being that u can still pick up an old album and feel it like it came out only yesterday, beats and lyrics that still make new artists releasing new 'ish seem like they'll never get to that level u know?...with the others you can almost literally take yourself back to the day it was released, the nostalgia et all. It almost stands out as identifiable music of the nineties or late eighties kinda thing nahmean??

Steven Samuel

IMO it's unfair to compare two albums from two different time periods. There are so many factors to consider. The availability of technology, digital vs. analog, home studios vs. big studios, album budgets...


Steven, I'm feeling you when you say we can't compare 2 different albums from 2 different time periods, but you can still take yourself aback to a previous period. For instance, I can compare ''2Pacalypse Now' from '91 to 50Cent's album and tell u how wack 50 is. It's not all about the beat, we shud also look at the content of a track. Also, the beat hasn't changed that much over the past 6years. I can give you 'Blackstar' as an example. It's a '98 album but Hi-Tek's beat in 'Respiration' and 'Twice Inna Lifetime' can be compared to any beat from this year. Do you think the beat from 2Pac's 'Keep ya head up'' is now outdated? Hell no!!


Donnie, with all due rspects, I don't think we shud even be calling wot Outkast sing hip-hop. What the hell is 'Hey Ya'!?


Trust: google "southerplayalistic" before you play yoself again, dissin Outkast cuz of "hey ya."

Steven Samuel

Trust, I hear what you're saying but I don't agree primarily because in my opinion time is an important factor.

When I said "The availability of technology, digital vs. analog, home studios vs. big studios, album budgets..." that's beyond just the beat.

Try to look at TIME like CHANGE.


Steven, I am on the same wavelength with you bout time. What I'm really saying is, even you have your own favourite album right. All of us do. My best album is Train of Thought. Kweli has since released 'Beautiful Struggle' 4 yrs after releasing TOT. I know that a lot has changed since then, but TOT is the one that really touched me.


"My best album is Train of Thought"

Trust, let me guess- you were fourteen, right? I was fourteen when Illmatic got released. It seems that whatever great album came out when you were just entering your teens remains your favorite.

But I'm not just talking about Illmatic being a favorite. I'm saying that it's CLASSIC.

Steven Samuel

But you know what, three years ago my cousin came to live with me. He expressed that he was a fan of Nas. I asked him which album was his favorite. He said, It Was Written. So, just to see where his head was at, I was like compare it to Illmatic. He had never heard the whole Illmatic.

I think it's normal for Trust to like Train Of Thought, because that's his era. When I was 14, my favorite album was U.T.F.O..

Uso Ray

its been 10 long years and yet there were some great artists and albums but none comepare to "Illmatic". much props to Nasir Jones


Jay-Z]Yup! I got it from here, 'Ye, damn
The chain remains, the game is intact
The name is mine, I'll take the blame for that
The pressure's on, but guess who ain't gon' crack?
Pardon me, I had to laugh at that
How could you falter, when you the Rock of Gibralter
I had to get off the boat, so I could walk on water
This ain't no tall order, this is nothing to me
Typical takes a day, impossible takes a week
I do this in my sleep
I sold kilos of coke, I'm guessin' I could sell CDs
I'm not a business-man, I'm a business, man!
Let me handle my business, damn
Kanye-z, you got me, Freeway then Foxy,
YG's, Tearri Mari, Peedi, watch me
Bleek could be one hit away his whole career
As long as I'm alive, he's a millionaire
And even if I die, he's in my will somewhere
So he could just kick back and chill somewhere
Oh yeah, he don't even have to write rhymes
The Dynasty, like my money last three life times
Shirley Bassey in rear, saying "exactly''
Whatever, saying "practically" my whole career
The Diamond is forever, I be monumous forever
Now the Louis Vuitton Don is comin', couldn't be better
People lined up to see the Titanic sinking
Instead, we rose from the ashes like a phoenix
If you waitin' for end of the Dynasty sign
It would seem like forever, it's a mighty long time
I'm Young, bitches!


Here we go, I was waiting for it. There is ALWAYS someone that must throw Jay in the mix.

I'm a female, originally from New York, moved to the Metro DC area 5 yrs ago. I say that to say this, I may not have been involved in hip hop to buy every mixtape, or have every CD, but I feel as though, because I'm from NY, it (hip hop) has played an integral part in my makeup. Hip Hop has helped form the woman I am today. And, unfortunately, people mistake a bangin' beat with a nice flow for lyrical talent.

People also mistake how many Platinum albums you sell to be the equivalent of a good artist. Example, Teedra Moses. You may not have heard of her. As a matter of fact I can't even tell you the name of ONE of her songs. But I have heard her album. PURELY INCREDIBLE. But, you have artists like Ciara out there who sound like they're singing in front of a fan. And I'm not putting down Ciara or hate on her, 'cause the fact of the matter is, the music business is that. A business. Since homeboy wanted to throw Jay in the mix, he says, "....I'm not a business man, I a BUSINESS man!!!!"

I remember growing up listening to the Sugar Hill gang, "Well its the hip hop, the hippety hippety hip hip hop, you don't stop the rock, to the bang bang boogiety, up jump the boogiety, to the rhythm of the boogiety beat....."

And Whistle, Run DMC, Kool Moe Dee, Big Daddy Kane, Chubb Rock, Tribe Called Qwest, De La Soul........and the list goes on.

So, what "hip hop" has evolved to today to me does not constitute as true hip hop. On the other hand, if you think what hip hop was created to do was to get people dancing to a nice beat. So, actually today, hip hop fits the definition to a tee. All artists are vying to come out with the next club banger.

But what we speak is the best album. And I'm torn. "Illmatic" is definitely one to have in the collection (I can say that because I have it). At the same time, I'm not going to go as far to say if I had to have ONE album to represent hip hop, that would be it. Honestly, I don't think I could choose any. Because for each significant time period of hip hop there has been either a significant song or album.

Self Destruction, Ladies First, I Need Love (why did I put that in there, because at the time hip hop was mostly geared toward men, and here's a song geared toward women. LL was the pioneer in that area), One Love (Whodini), Ready to Die, Reasonable Doubt (Best Jay ablum ever) and the list goes on.

So, by your statement, my friend you do pose a good point because I feel Nas is one of the best if not the best currently, lyricist out there, but there are too many rap albums just to choose one.

Holla at cha girl --- shugaree


The college dropout is the illest.


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Dope post. A group of cats from DC just remixed the entire album. Take a listen when you get a chance.


Radovan Mook

Yo peeps,
Big up to ya´ll for discussing this matter in such an orderly fashion. Many dope posts. My personal favourite is Jeru´s The Sun Rises in the East. Fucking genious if you ask me. out-of-this-world fantastic beats by Primo and an amazingly underated rapper personified by Jeru. Don´t forget Pauls Boutique, Whut da album, Ready to Die, The Predator and even Doggystyle -just to mention a few. Cheers.

Frank White

Life After Death is the only album that matters


IMO, illmatic is the greatest rap album ever made. Every song is a masterpiece and the gritty, raw feeling of the lyrics. It's simply amazing and if I could only pick one rap album, it would probably be Illmatic.

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