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Nas: Comparing good kid, mAAd city to Illmatic Is "Not A Fair Comparison"

(AllHipHop News) Not many albums have impacted the Hip Hop landscape like Illmatic. Then again, there are not many albums like good kid, mAAd city. During a recent interview, Nas addressed the comparisons between his debut album and Kendrick Lamar’s and spoke on what Lamar needs to do on his sophomore album.

In his interview with Complex Magazine, Nas stated that “the Internet made the world smaller, so it’s easier now for people to hear your music” as opposed to when he was a new artist in the early 90s with limited means of reaching the masses outside of “radio record” According to Nas, the difference in era is the main reason you can not compare good kid, mAAd city to Illmatic:

No, it’s not a fair comparison to me because Illmatic represented a different time and a different expression for different reasons. The times inspired the sound of that—the climate of the music business, the rap game, the industry, the year, and life in itself. It’s not fair to Kendrick’s album either because his album is a brand new expression that represents these times, the sound represents what’s happening now, he’s changing things today.

Nas says Kendrick Lamar is similarly”an album guy” and not one solely making hit singles. When asked what advice he would give Lamar on following up a classic debut album, Nas reveals that you have to keep everything in perspective:

You’ll never be bigger than hip-hop. I wanna be big but I’ll never be bigger than hip-hop. If I become bigger than hip-hop, then I’m Madonna, I’m a diva. I know plenty divas in this shit, new artists and old. Rap Divas. But none of us is bigger than hip-hop and none of us will ever be.

Check out the full interview here.

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  • Coast2Coast

    Nas droppin some heavy shyt..

  • Carlos

    Maad city is a classic album…. until it is pitted against illmatic or any classic album from the golden era.

    • BIGDICKSWANGA

      My thoughts exactly.. Good Kid Maad City is a dope album, but it’s not even Kendrick’s best album. Illmatic takes the cake.

      • Carlos

        I didn’t even think about that. Section 80 was dope…it had its share of bangers. You might be on to something there.

      • BIGDICKSWANGA

        I thought Section 80 had better potential singles than Good Kid Maad City and just better music overall. Both good albums, but still, not Illmatic.

    • Guest

      Living through the golden era of hip hop was like our parents living through the Beatles, Hendrix, and the Stones. Just once in a lifetime classic music that can and will never be duplicated or replaced. To compare anything out before or after the golden era is “not fair.”

  • Ain’t No Future In Yo Frontin’

    Illmatic is not a classic wtf

    • Slick Blak

      It’s not? FOH son.

      • Whodi

        Don’t feel the troll.

        Everybody and their momma know illmatic is a classic

    • Gonja

      …said the dumb young boy

    • brotha_man

      illmatic is one of the best rap albums ever created

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  • soyhiphop

    Top rap divas

    Drake
    Kanye west
    NikkI minage

    • Jared

      Right on the money

  • The Legendary Troll

    That is a very politically correct way to say that

  • water_ur_seeds

    IMO Maad City is not a classic and is overrated… Illmatic is defo a classic…

    • rocnation30

      I AGREE….WISH PPL WOULD STOP CALLIN THAT SHIT A CLASSIC…IT WAS GOOD THO

    • Brindle

      Its a classic album due to the albums 3 years before it and the MC’s 3 minutes before, lot of wack ish, then out of no where a dope album… would’ve have been a classic album in the 90’s, no… a good album, yes…

      • BIG MIKE SOMETHING SERIOUS

        Yeah, but it’s Soooo Close, to not say it classic is nick picking. In todays music, Classic by far.

      • Brindle

        i actually have to agree with that

      • water_ur_seeds

        A classic album is a classic album IMO, it shouldnt matter what era, you can call an album ground braking due to the era but not a classic just because there is loads of schitt albums around at the time…

      • Brindle

        I feel you on that, but in the 90’s Ras Kass droped albums just as good as GKMC, lot of lyricist did but they weren’t considered classics then cause the competition/talent was so high… we just starten over now, someone luckily hit the reset button

      • Dubz

        I guess it depends on how you define classics and could they compare to others…for example GKMC when compared to say Chronic 2001 doesn’t stand up…could it stand up to Game’s 1st album Documentary? Maybe…I think that was a classic but not everybody might see it that way.

      • water_ur_seeds

        Yeah I get what you mean, Ras Kass’s ‘Soul on Ice’ should be labelled a classic for me, defo a West Coast classic… The Coup, Paris, E40, BUMS, Luniz, Pharcyde, Spice 1 etc all have atleast West Coast classics, with albums that are better then GKMC… The most I could give Kendrick is a classic West Coast album and thats pushing it lol

    • Jared

      Idk I think Section.80 is better than GKMC

      • water_ur_seeds

        I would rather listen to Section 8 then Section.80 haha

        I think he’s dope, but people are go on like he is a lyrical genius, He wasn’t exactly head and shoulders above (when he was K Dot) all the other West Coast acts that where coming up, like Jay Rock, Dubb, G Malone, Schoolboy Q, Ya Boy etc

        I guess its good for the kids to listen to Kendrick over the daum right stupid rappers rapping about schitt…

      • regalpimp

        I think lyrically he is borderline genius…I was convinced after hearing “Rigamortis”…I knew he was a good rapper, but he outshined Bussa Bus on a Busta Rhymes type track…that sold me…When you’re lyrically versatile with a conscious hood type subject matter, you’re gonna shine…that’s why I would put him above those names u mentioned

      • water_ur_seeds

        Genius? Come on brother hes a clever rapper at most, like you say because he is clever with hood type lyrics he shines more. Lupe doesn’t get as much credit and he does the same… Hes just a dope rapper to me, with a couple dope tunes… Hes off beat alot, usually people clown rappers that flow off beat lol

    • Judah Nazayar

      seeds.. ur buggin out ahki.. Maad city is amazing. I dont think hes all that lyrical.. But hes ..just a quality artist.

      • water_ur_seeds

        Nah dude, like I said its a good album, but I didnt play it back aload of times like a classic album would be… Hes a dope rapper thats about it IMO… But hip hop is all about opinions and what you like…

    • Ranger

      I agree with troy ave, though he is talented, Kendrick is a weirdo rapper

      • Johnny Boy

        How is he a ”weirdo rapper”?

    • TheAfroRican

      Agreed. The Section 80 joint was better.

  • Gonja

    Maad City is [only] a classic when compared to these new artists/albums.

    • brotha_man

      co sign…

  • MadRespect06

    Madd City is a classic west coast album hands down. But like Nas said..you can’t compare the two. Illmatic was ground breaking because of how raw and lyrical it was for that time. There will never be another Illmatic. Period

    • Jared

      I thought Section.80 was better

      • Dubz

        Section 80 had some dope songs…a few I would rather listen to then some on GKMC…but from top 2 bottom I thought GKMC was better.

    • Dubz

      Yea just like there would never be another It’s Dark and Hell is Hot…plenty of classics out there just not the same style.

    • Ipullcards

      Yea they were both dope! Nas was a teen when he wrote that album.. That is all

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    • ShortDogg

      I agree broh! Real talk!

  • jeezuz_walkz

    lmao comparing MADD CITY to ILLMATIC is like comparing a subaru outback to a MACK TRUCK in a demolition derby HAHA

  • Markus

    What is made in this era can be good. Maybe even great. But classic as compared to albums like Illmatic, Dr.Dre’s The Chronic or Eric B and Rakim’s Paid in Full? Not even close.

  • jacksjus

    I don’t think it’s a fair comparison, because GKMC wasn’t Kendrick’s debut album technically. Nas was truly unheard of by most when Illmatic released.

    Imo Illmatic>>>GKMC

  • Fosho3528

    Living through the golden era of hip hop was like our parents living through the Beatles, Hendrix, and the Stones. Just once in a lifetime classic music that can and will never be replaced or duplicated. To compare anything out before or after the golden era is “not fair.”

  • Reblogged this on F.A.T. Entertainment and commented:
    Both albums are epic. Nas is right though, it’s a different era.

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  • AlbertoRipRon

    You don’t compare these two pieces.

  • brotha_man

    Madd city was dope but its far from illmatic. IMO its not even better than the Lost tapes.
    not better than:
    Common: Water for chocolate
    2Pac: me against the world
    DMX: its dark and hells hot
    jayz- blue print
    Scarface: the diary
    Spice 1 – Spice 1 or 1990-sick
    redman- there is a dark side
    CNN- War report
    BIG ready to die
    hell its not better than commons new album “nobodys smiling

    • brotha_man

      or this……

      • TheAfroRican

        Awesome mixtape. This and BIG K.R.I.T. “Return of 4eva” are the mixtapes that stay in rotation for me.

    • TheAfroRican

      Add Gangstarr “Moment of Truth”, Goodie Mob “Soul Food” and Outkast “ATLiens” to the list.

    • MadVillain

      Busta Rhymes – ELE

    • jacksjus

      Man I feel you on that Lost Tapes. That was a sleeper.

  • KingsCountyCrooklyn

    we need to give it at least 10yrs for any thing to be classic. by that time preschool kids are in high school and high school kids can look back on his album as adults and say this is a classic album because of A,B, & C, and compare it to what ever is fancy in the year 2024.

    • Flight_91

      Nah..Kendrick’s album’s been out long enough to label it classic or not..And I think it’s classic..It came out 2 years ago and people are still talking about how great it is..most albums come and are forgotten after A couple months max..

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  • The_Good_Life

    GKMC is highly overrated. Top dog shorted k dot with that wack production. When snoop dropped, even my grandmama heard of him and we were living in Brooklyn. As far as illmatic goes, Nas’s raps should be locked in a cell….

    • TheAfroRican

      The illmatic album has so many classic lines. Wack ass Lil’ Wayne even “borrowed” a few of them.

  • Chris Sheppard

    I’ve come to the conclusion that…. people just wanna be different. GKMC has a lot of hype behind it, therefor its popular to belittle such masterpiece. The album is amazing, just as Illmatic or College Dropout .is. However I am annoyed by others calling Kendrick Lamar the King… That term is use very ;loosely by this generation. Its obvious that Drake has the game in the palm of his hand, simply because he is the most consistent at the moment.

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