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nas illmatic 20 years anniversary one love

“One Love”

Producer: Q-Tip
Lyric: “So stay civilized, time flies/Though incarcerated your mind dies, I hate it when your moms cries/It kinda makes me want to murder, for real a/I even got a mask and gloves to bust slugs but one love”
Why It’s Dope: Nas is encouraging his friend to stay positive and not let his incarceration break his spirit. This line is notable because it’s one of the few times on the album when murder is referenced with the motive being anything other than money or self-preservation—it's revenge, and it's an emotion that's hard to overcome.


What We Learned: Nas’ ‘Ask Me Anything’ Session On Reddit

Nas was a guest on Reddit’s Ask Me Anything Session today in celebration of llmatic XX, a special 20th Anniversary Edition of the widely debated hip-hop classic that was released today via SONY Legacy,  Nas answered fans questions about everything from Bishop Nehru, his favorite television show and everything about Illmatic...

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nas the world is yours illmatic

“The World Is Yours”

Producer: Pete Rock
Lyric: “While all the old folks pray to Jesus, soakin’ their sins in trays/Of holy water, odds against Nas are slaughter/Thinkin' a word best describing my life/To name my daughter my strength/My son the star will be my resurrection/Born in correction, all the wrong shit I did, he’ll lead a right direction”
Why It’s Dope: These lines endorse a vision of the world in which Nas plays the roles of both God and sinner, only capable of being saved by the goodness of his children. This line used to sound like wishful thinking on the part of Nas and his guilty conscience, but as you get older, the concept of becoming a better person through your children, or them being your resurrection, begins to resonate.


Nas’ 20 Best Lines On ‘Illmatic’

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nas illmatic 20 years represent


Producer: DJ Premier
Lyric: “The brutalizer, crew de-sizer, accelerator/The type of nigga who be pissin' in your elevator/Somehow the rap game reminds me of the crack game/Used to sport Bally's and Gazelle's with black frames/Now I'm into fat chains, sex and tecs/Fly new chicks and new kicks, Heine's and Beck's”
Why It’s Dope: It's a perfect reference to the type of degenerate who pisses in elevators; everybody knows who that type of person is, and a simple line encapsulates the entire idea. Then there's the rap game/crack game comparison, which is one of the most commonly-used tropes in the genre.


Made You Look: The 20 Most Stylish Looks From Nas

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