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Illmatic XX [20th Anniversary Edition] Image
Metascore
89

Universal acclaim - based on 8 Critic Reviews What's this?

User Score
8.9

Universal acclaim- based on 285 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: 38 out of 38
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 38
  3. Negative: 0 out of 38
  1. Jun 16, 2018
    10
    When I say there is not a single bad track on this album I mean it, there are a lot of albums which I say were the best of a certain decade orWhen I say there is not a single bad track on this album I mean it, there are a lot of albums which I say were the best of a certain decade or timespan but overall this is not just the best rap album of the 90s it is the best of all time. Highlight tracks really are all of them but if you want the best of the best, NY State Of Mind, Lifes A **** One Love & The World Is Yours 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. Oct 10, 2019
    10
    The best hip hop album in history
    Hip hop will never see something great like that album
  5. Jun 13, 2022
    10
    Each and every song on this album is perfect filled with lyricism,storytelling delivered by Nas's crazy flow.
  6. Jun 20, 2015
    10
    (review of Illmatic only)
    Illmatic is often hailed as the best hip hop album of all time, and deservedly so. The first thing that can be
    (review of Illmatic only)
    Illmatic is often hailed as the best hip hop album of all time, and deservedly so. The first thing that can be noted when discussing Illmatic and its legacy is Nas' fantastic rapping. On this album, Nas vividly paints a picture of the New York gangsta life with a series of fantastic rhymes and flow. But the rapping is only one portion of Illmatic's legacy. Next we have the production. There are so many bangers and other fantastic instrumentals on Illmatic that go greatly with Nas' fantastic rapping. And if I'm not wrong, I believe this project reinvented sampling. Without this album, there would have been no The College Dropout, Madvillainy or even My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. And finally we have its originality. Whereas other albums pre-Illmatic sounded specifically from its era, I could have easily mistaken Illmatic for a 2015 album. Nas, with Illmatic, introduced modern sampling methods, storytelling, and bangers. All of these things make Illmatic the classic that it is. Now, if Nas were to make an album nearly as good as this... Grade: A+. Highlights: "N.Y. State of Mind", "Life's a B****", "The World Is Yours", "It Ain't Hard to Tell". Worst song: "Memory Lane (Sittin' in da Park)"
    Expand
  7. Apr 6, 2021
    8
    this album is a 8 this album is a 8 this album is a 8 this album is a 8 this album is a 8

See all 38 User Reviews