XXL Freshman Fashawn is currently gearing up to release his Ode to Illmatic project—a mixtape that finds the Fresno, California artist rhyming over all of the instrumentals from Nas’s classic debut album, Illmatic.

During the Freshman 10 for '10 cover shoot XXLMag.com spoke to the 20-year old MC about the concept behind the disc. “The idea was birthed out of my album, [Boy Meets World]," he explained. “My album was getting a lot of comparison’s to Nas’s first album… So I threw the idea out there, like what if I redid Illmatic …will people still say I sound like Nasir…or will they just trash the whole [notion]?” [Watch below]

Fash' said that it didn’t take long to record the disc. “What took Nas 20 years to make took me like a week," he said. “No bragging or nothing like that, but I’m a student of [Illmatic] ’cause that’s one of the albums you could use for an example of perfection. Those 10 songs were dope, dude. And that’s what birthed the whole idea.”

Yesterday XXLMag.com premiered Fash’s rendition of "Life’s A Bitch" with Talib Kweli, and in late April/early May, we will be presenting the mixtape for free download. Ode to Illmatic will be hosted by DJ Green Lantern and features only one guest appearance by Kweli.

In related news a bonus edition of Boy Meets World will be hitting store on April 20. The special edition of the disc will also include a DVD. —Jesse Gissen

[video:http://www.xxlmag.com/uploads/video/files/2010/3.15.10_QN_FashawnAtFreshmen_XXL_Web_Standard.flv l]

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