Nas’ ‘Illmatic’ Gets Inducted Into The Library Of Congress National Recording Registry

The New Yorker's debut studio LP is just the eighth rap album in history to be selected.

(AllHipHop News) 

The legendary Nasir “Nas” Jones is undeniably one of the greatest recording artists of all time. While the Queens-bred emcee is regularly praised in Hip Hop circles, he is finally starting to get his flowers from the wider music world.

On March 14, Nas won the first Grammy Award of his career at the 63rd annual ceremony when the Recording Academy named King’s Disease as Best Rap Album. Plus, his first studio LP is being labeled an “audio treasure” worthy of preservation by the United States Library of Congress.

1994’s Illmatic is one of the twenty-five recordings inducted into the National Recording Registry of the Library of Congress for 2020. Nas’s groundbreaking opus and the other inductees were deemed worthy of preservation for all time based on its cultural, historical, or aesthetic importance in American history.

Illmatic will now live in the LOC alongside other Hip Hop classics like Run-D.M.C.’s Raising Hell, N.W.A’s Straight Outta Compton, De La Soul’s 3 Feet High and Rising, Public Enemy’s Fear of a Black Planet, Dr. Dre’s The Chronic, Lauryn Hill’s The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, and Jay-Z’s The Blueprint.

In addition, quintessential rap singles by Sugarhill Gang (“Rapper’s Delight”), Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five (“The Message”), and Tupac “2Pac” Shakur (“Dear Mama”) are in the National Recording Registry as well. Only eleven Hip Hop acts have been chosen for the honor.

“The National Recording Registry will preserve our history through these vibrant recordings of music and voices that have reflected our humanity and shaped our culture from the past 143 years,” said Carla Hayden, Librarian of Congress.

Hayden continued, “We received about 900 public nominations this year for recordings to add to the registry, and we welcome the public’s input as the Library of Congress and its partners preserve the diverse sounds of history and culture.”

Other 2020 National Recording Registry selections include Janet Jackson’s Rhythm Nation 1814, Louis Armstrong’s “When the Saints Go Marching In,” Labelle’s “Lady Marmalade,” Kool & the Gang’s “Celebration,” and Kermit the Frog’s “The Rainbow Connection.” See the full list below.

2020 National Recording Registry

  1. Edison’s “St. Louis tinfoil” recording (1878)
  2. “Nikolina” — Hjalmar Peterson (1917) (single)
  3. “Smyrneikos Balos” — Marika Papagika (1928) (single)
  4. “When the Saints Go Marching In” — Louis Armstrong & his Orchestra (1938) (single)
  5. Christmas Eve Broadcast–Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill (December 24, 1941)
  6. “The Guiding Light” — Nov. 22, 1945
  7. “Odetta Sings Ballads and Blues” — Odetta (1957) (album)
  8. “Lord, Keep Me Day by Day” — Albertina Walker and the Caravans (1959) (single)
  9. Roger Maris hits his 61st homerun (October 1, 1961)
  10. “Aida” — Leontyne Price, et.al. (1962) (album)
  11. “Once a Day” — Connie Smith (1964) (single)
  12. “Born Under a Bad Sign” — Albert King (1967) (album)
  13. “Free to Be…You & Me” — Marlo Thomas and Friends (1972) (album)
  14. “The Harder They Come” — Jimmy Cliff (1972) (album)
  15. “Lady Marmalade” — Labelle (1974) (single)
  16. “Late for the Sky” — Jackson Browne (1974) (album)
  17. “Bright Size Life” — Pat Metheny (1976) (album)
  18. “The Rainbow Connection” — Kermit the Frog (1979) (single)
  19. “Celebration” — Kool & the Gang (1980) (single)
  20. “Richard Strauss:  Four Last Songs” — Jessye Norman (1983) (album)
  21. “Janet Jackson’s Rhythm Nation 1814” — Janet Jackson (1989) (album)
  22. “Partners” — Flaco Jiménez (1992) (album)
  23. “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”/”What A Wonderful World” — Israel Kamakawiwo’ole (1993) (single)
  24. “Illmatic” — Nas (1994) (album)
  25. “This American Life: The Giant Pool of Money” (May 9, 2008)


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