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With the release of Illmatic, in 1994 Nas quickly established himself as a hip hop icon and has become one of the hottest artists on the music scene today. The landmark album has been lauded by critics as one of the most exemplary hip hop recordings of all time. Illmatic contributed to the revival of the New York City rap scene and has been consistently ranked near the top of many "best album" lists. Today, the collection remains one of the most widely celebrated and influential albums in history with Rolling Stone proclaiming, "a portrait of an artist as a hood, loner, tortured soul, juvenile delinquent, and fledgling social critic... [the album] still stands as one of rap's crowning achievements." NPR Music called the collection "[a] masterwork of story-telling, lyricism and beat-making," while upon the album s release, The Village Voice gave Nas the title of, "one of the most important writers of the 20th century.



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