Classic Album Sundays: Nas – Illmatic05.05.19
Founded by radio host, music producer, label owner and journalist, Colleen “Cosmo” Murphy, Classic Album Sundays allows listeners to fully immerse themselves into an album by exploring its context, the making of and a full replay of the album on vinyl. This month’s album is Nas – Illmatic.
Life in Queensbridge, NY, was always going to be the beating heart of Illmatic. Although still in his late teens, Nas had already experienced more than his fair share of traumatic, life-changing events. The most major blow had come on the night of May 23rd 1992, when his best friend Ill Will was shot dead. Nas has described the altercation, which also saw his brother suffer a bullet wound, as “a wake up call”, and Will’s name appears throughout Illmatic; a lingering shadow of almost every experience the MC recalls. By the mid ‘90s the juggernaut of the crack trade had withered considerably, but the violent wounds and social ramifications of the epidemic would haunt deprived areas across the country for years to come.