(AllHipHop) Today (April 15th), Nas released the 20th anniversary commemorative album for Illmatic. Spotify rounded up Large Professor, Pete Rock, DJ Premier, Nas and the woman who signed Nas to Columbia, Faith Newman to discuss secrets behind the making of the greatest rap album of all time.
DJ Premier produced three tracks on Nas’ seminal debut album, “Memory Lane (Sittin’ in da Park)“, “Represent” and “NY State of Mind. According to Premier, it was a recording session from the Large Professor-produced “One Time 4 Your Mind” that showed Nas’ improvisational rap skills and how he initially didn’t like the song:
The way it is on the album, he was just freestyling and just bugging out. I thought maybe he’d rerecord it later on, but that version that’s on there is the one I witness. I remember Nas was like ‘I don’t like it, I’mma trash it.’
Nas admits that he did not choose the classic tracklist for Illmatic but allowed the people at SONY to craft the album’s sequencing. While he did not choose the exact order, Nas reveals that the shortest album of his career could have ended up being one of the longest albums in Hip Hop history:
I didn’t really choose them, because it was too much to chose. I had the songs, they were apart of the list. But I couldn’t, because it was so many things I wanted to put on there it would’ve been a quadruple album.
Check out Spotify’s full Landmark episode on Illmatic below: