Nas’ ‘Illmatic’ Receives Honor From NY Senator Ahead Of 30th Anniversary

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – AUGUST 11: Nas performs onstage during Hip Hop 50 Live at Yankee Stadium on August 11, 2023 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images)

It’s been nearly three decades since Nas released his debut album, Illmatic. Released in 1994, the iconic project features ten tracks and has been crowned a landmark for East Coast hip-hop. In 2001, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) certified it platinum. 

Now, ahead of its 30th anniversary, one New York official — Senator Jamaal T. Bailey — has decided to honor the album and its influence.

“What were you doing when you were 20 years old?” Bailey said during a State Senate meeting. “Many of us were in college. We were finding who we were. Nasir Jones, poetically known as Nas, was making the greatest Hip Hop album of all time, Illmatic.”

The senator described the project as “the soundtrack” of his youth. “Nas has been a Hip Hop griot — the rapid response system for the streets, for lack of a better term,” he said. “And if you have a top five without Nas in it, you shouldn’t listen to rap music.”

Nas attended the session and even received an introduction from another Senator, James Sanders Jr. “I would just finish by saying to everyone that there are seven established wonders of the modern world. Let me introduce you to Queens’ eighth,” he said. 

Check out the Senate’s session below.