The Daily Grind Video

You know what makes Nas‘ debut album Illmatic so brilliant? It’s so New York.

If you’re sick to your stomach over what current New York City has become (Citibikes, really?) give Illmatic a listen. You’ll be transferred to a cold, gritty world, where it’s “too dark to see tomorrow” (because a “black cloud follows,” of course).

Even though it’s seen as a universal classic nowadays, Nas created Illmatic for homies in the streets of New York. He uses Queens terminology, names Queens crews and shouts out figures only known in the Queens underworld.

This Saturday is the 20-year anniversary of the album. It makes us feel old thinking about it, but there still are people who’re discovering this album for the first time.

If you fall in that category, we got you covered: we made a little guide in helping you figure out the heads Nas calls out on Illmatic – from Havoc’s brother Killa Black, to infamous crime figure Fat Cat.

Click through the gallery below, dun.

Hood Legends Nas Mentions On “Illmatic” (PHOTOS)
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