XXL: Nas Illmatic, 15 Years Later

When was the last time you bought a hip-hop magazine? Basically, I never buy new hip-hop magazines but I had to make an exception for the new XXL April 2009 Issue. In the beginning of this month when the magazine cover was revealed, I noticed that there was going to be an article commemorating the 15th Anniversary of Nas‘s Classic 1994 LP “Illmatic“. With subtitles of DJ Premier, Large Pro, Pete Rock, & Q-Tip, I knew that it was going to be worth the reading.

Yesterday, after copping the issue, I immediately skipped to the “Illmatic” article. I was stunned by seeing these old hi-res ’94 pictures of Nas; there’s a picture of Premier, Large Pro, Faith, Nas, Q-Tip, & L.E.S in the studio. I would like to thanks Timmotep Aku, Carl Chery, Clover Hope, Rob Markman, Starrene Rhett, Anslem Samuel for taking a trip down to memory lane and compiling a classic article on a perfect album. Below are all the representers who each took their time to talk on the making-of of their incredible work on the track which they appeared on. This isn’t something that you’ve seen before, you will learn a lot of new trivia… Below that is the scan of the article.


Download 9-Pages Scan (Hi-Res)

Make sure to support this issue by buying it at your local bookstore. This is the type of issue that will truly become a collectible. There are other noteworthy articles included in the issue that are worth reading after “Illmatic.”

— Thomas V

Editor’s Note: Don’t forget to grab today’s other exclusive: Rakim “The Cellar EP”.

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18 Responses to “XXL: Nas Illmatic, 15 Years Later”

  1. T.R.O.Y. says:

    This is definitely a great read, and an excellent resource/artifact. Thanks Thomas. You saved me $5 and a walk to the Ay-Rab store.

  2. Krisch says:

    Some months ago I decided to no longer buy the XXL, now i gotta make an exception i think.

    They also had similar articles on "Reasonable Doubt" and DMX' 1st album that were also good reads

  3. blackgirlnamedbecky says:

    I read the article from the actual magazine (I still subscribe to some). You're right – it is great, but why bother saying "support" XXL if you've SCANNED the whole thing? Why not scan, say the first 2 pages, and let your readers in fact support the mag. Just saying.

  4. Thun says:

    Blackgirlnamedbecky – because to be quite frank, nobody gives a flying fuck about that magazine, as they have been on a downward slide in terms of quality and profitability for half a decade. Just because they occasionally attempt to put together a quality piece doesn't mean we should have to shell out 4 bucks for their now-emaciated shit rag. Too little, too late from them. If there are people out there who are so enamored with the article and the magazine, a pdf file won't suffice, so they;ll buy it anyway. I would be willing to bet we gave these hacks more sales than we took away.

  5. Phila says:

    I'm one of those people that ran to the store to cop it after we published the blog. Then I realize the magazine was chopped in half and has nothing to offer other than those 4 pages. Nas wasn't even on the cover so for $5 am I gonna buy it? I decided against it.

    The thing is I wouldn't have ever thought about copping it or even had that motivation to go to the store and pick it up if not for our article on it. A page is not worth $1.25 in this economy.

  6. verge says:

    Yeah, I would not have even checked for that XXL had it not been for the T.R.O.Y. post about it. After reading, I immediately went to the store and copped it, just to have the physical copy.

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