The early part of Nas’ career was defined by his debut album, Illmatic. Nas released his debut album in 1994, a time when many felt hip hop was on a decline. However, Nas’ album helped to restore order and helped New York hip hop put forth a comeback. Nas was embraced as the voice of the streets, but his following albums were geared more towards mainstream audiences.
Because of Nas’ apparent switch, support shifted to Jay-Z and when The Notorious B.I.G. was murdered, hip hop began to pit the two titans against each other. Soon, Nas and Jay-Z began a high-profile feud, which led to Jay-Z pointing out Nas’ decline since Illmatic. That line by Jay-Z prompted Nas to deliver “Ether,” followed by Stillmatic.
Since the release of Stillmatic, Nas has continued to deliver critically-acclaimed albums. Now, many are arguing his recent release, Life is Good, is the closest Nas has come to Illmatic since the release of Stillmatic. With his tenth album out, Nas spoke to FUSE TV about the album which started it all, Illmatic.
Watch the entire interview below: