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Illmatic XX [20th Anniversary Edition] Image
Metascore
89

Universal acclaim - based on 8 Critics What's this?

User Score
9.0

Universal acclaim- based on 208 Ratings

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  • Summary: The remastered reissue of the rapper's debut 1994 release a disc of remixes, demos and unreleased versions of songs.
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 8
  2. Negative: 0 out of 8
  1. 100
    Like all great works of art, Illmatic isn’t just about the story it tells; it provides us with a fully-fledged character study of the genius behind it.
  2. Q Magazine
    Apr 28, 2014
    100
    The original beats are still as fresh and inviting as a newly changed bed. At 10 tracks, Illmatic is satisfying lean and cohesive--remarkably so for a hip-hop album with five producers. [May 2014, p.125]
  3. May 22, 2014
    100
    Illmatic is timeless because of Nas’s introspective, hyper-detailed approach to his daily life--even to moments that don’t seem particularly notable.
  4. Apr 21, 2014
    90
    Illmatic by Nas is a 10/10 classic hip hop album. It's essential, and that's undeniable. Illmatic XX when taken as a whole, isn't.
  5. Nov 6, 2014
    78
    The Demos, Remixes & Live Radio half of Illmatic XX, the 20th-anniversary celebration of the Queensbridge rapper's seminal debut, deviates the right direction from its 10-year predecessor.
  6. The Wire
    Jul 21, 2014
    70
    No album in hiphop history has been less in need of a padding. [Jun 2014, p.63]
  7. Apr 21, 2014
    60
    The trouble with Illmatic XX isn’t what you hear, but what you don’t hear. In a vacuum, it’s an unexpectedly well-preserved snapshot of Golden Era, New York Hip Hop. Sonically, it strikes the perfect balance between cleaning up the original recordings through the advent of digital remastering without eliminating subtleties such as the crackle of a needle over vinyl.

See all 8 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 21
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 21
  3. Negative: 0 out of 21
  1. Jul 18, 2017
    10
    Original illmatic ratingOriginal illmatic rating here..................................................................................................................................................... Expand
  2. May 25, 2017
    10
    Treating this review as Illmatic not Illmatic XX so I'm not speaking on any of the remixes or anything but this is arguably the best hip hopTreating this review as Illmatic not Illmatic XX so I'm not speaking on any of the remixes or anything but this is arguably the best hip hop album of all time. There just isn't anything wrong with it.

    Best songs: N.Y. State of MInd / It Ain't Hard To Tell / The World Is Yours
    Expand
  3. May 13, 2014
    10
    This originally came out before my time so have only really gotten into it now. Still sounds fresh, has mad beats, lyrics and flow. Can seeThis originally came out before my time so have only really gotten into it now. Still sounds fresh, has mad beats, lyrics and flow. Can see how this is a classic and rated as pretty much the best rap album of all time Expand
  4. Jun 11, 2018
    10
    (This review is just based on the original Illmatic, which was released in 1994 and the remixes on Illmatic XX will not be considered). 100(This review is just based on the original Illmatic, which was released in 1994 and the remixes on Illmatic XX will not be considered). 100 which is a 10. This is by far the greatest rap album of all time. There is no doubt that this album is perfect in every way. The production which included some DJ Premier works, was on point and perfect. The lyrics was amazing and once again perfect. There was not a single second of this album that could be fixed. In his track it Ain't Hard to Tell, he samples Michael Jackson's Human Nature and makes bodies the track. Songs such as Represent and NY State of Mind are just some of the craziest beats that the human ear could hear. Life's a b*tch with AZ, was a lyrically genius track. If you thought AZ's verse was GOAT, listen to the Nas verse that follows. I could listen to this album all day, everyday and never get enough of this album. Only problem was that the bar that Nas set on Illmatic was way too high for him to reach in any of his later albums which is probably why we think all his other albums weren't too good. Strewth. Expand
  5. May 10, 2014
    10
    Stilll the best Hip Hop Album of all time. I still prefer the original but i liked that they added some new stuff that feels like it wasStilll the best Hip Hop Album of all time. I still prefer the original but i liked that they added some new stuff that feels like it was recorded when Illmatic was first written. Check out "Im a Villain" Expand
  6. Aug 9, 2016
    10
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  7. Jul 8, 2014
    9
    A damn good album, and also a must-buy. Nas' stunning debut had me skeptical at first because of its East-coast origins, but with the firstA damn good album, and also a must-buy. Nas' stunning debut had me skeptical at first because of its East-coast origins, but with the first track I listened to, I knew this album would be worth a listen. Expand

See all 21 User Reviews