Watch: Nas Had (Reasonable) Doubts About ‘Illmatic’ (See What We Did There?)


Even the greatest artistic geniuses have lulls in their confidence. Perhaps Erykah Badu put it best: “I’m an artist and I’m sensitive about my shit.”

So it’s no surprise that when Nas released his first full-length project, the immortal rap album Illmatic, he was unsure if he’d send any shockwaves outside of his housing projects.

Queensbridge’s humble hero sat down with VIBE to express his doubts about how Illmatic would be received, and the moment he realized the album’s perennial, cultish following.

Nas’ Illmatic XX, a remastered re-release commemorating his debut masterpiece, drops today, packed with rare remixes and unreleased tracks. —John Kennedy