Nas‘s debut album Illmatic is considered one of the greatest albums of all time for many fans. Despite the number of albums he’s dropped since then, fans still look his magnum opus as his best work to date. That album alone has brought so much meaning to his Queensbridge home that it gave the world a glimpse of what life was like there when Nas was living there.
Ghostface remembers the first time he heard ‘Illmatic.’
It wasn’t when the album dropped.
Don’t tell Nas 🤫 @livexlive #IllmaticXXV pic.twitter.com/eDS4Wa5xqb
— MASS APPEAL (@MassAppeal) April 23, 2019
This year marks Illmatic’s 25th anniversary – and Nas is not looking forward to celebrating it.
In a recent interview with Haute Living, Nas finds himself losing joy over the commemoration of Illmatic.
“I’m tired of celebrating it,” he admits. “I’m grateful, but it has started to take on a life of its own. I just did the 20th anniversary with the National Symphony Orchestra five years ago and, the next thing you know, five years go by and it’s a calendar that I didn’t ask for showing me how fast time moves.”
The anniversary show he’s referring to was a part of the Tribeca Film Festival, debuting his 2014 documentary, Time Is Illmatic. Although it was the first time people have witnessed him performing with a live orchestra, it wasn’t his first time performing the record in its entirety. In 2011 he co-headlined with Lauryn Hill at Rock The Bells, performing it live with a backdrop giving the mock setting to look like he’s taking us down memory lane in his hometown.
Taking it back and reminiscing on 25 years. https://t.co/QKXzDEtPli #illmaticXXV pic.twitter.com/3axTypRJ5l
— Nasir Jones (@Nas) April 20, 2019
Back in April there was an official ‘Illmatic XXV’ popup at Sony Square in New York. There was also a smaller pop-up shop in Los Angeles in the Melrose District commemorating the anniversary of his album. Contact High and Annenberg Space for Photgraphy showcased the Illmatic documentary over the summer at Delicious Pizza.
With all that he’s done and the accolades he’s been given for this album, he feels like his other projects has been overlooked.
“Twenty-five years is a lifetime,” Nas said, reflecting. “So I did another Symphony Orchestra show for Illmatic this year; I got another plaque for it. I’m very grateful—it’s so crazy—but to celebrate one album when I’ve made over 10, all the things I’ve worked on—and I’ve been working for so long—to celebrate one album over all else is corny to me. I don’t want to celebrate another Illmatic anything. I’m done. Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for appreciating that record, but it’s over.”