This Undeniably Classic Hip Hop Album Released 22 Years Ago Today…

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The inspiration behind “N.Y. State Of Mind”


Credit: Danny Clinch/Tribeca Film

While the “N.Y. State of Mind” title comes from one of Billy Joel’s hit records of the same name, the song is actually an inspiration from Kool G Rap’s “Streets Of New York.” Surprisingly enough, confirming his dominance in the art of lyricism, Nas reportedly recorded the first verse in one take, and at the top of his head. While the rapper has said, himself, that he isn’t sure whether he wrote lyrics down, or did it one take, other engineers in the studio have said he did, in fact, kill it all in one.

The reviews

Nas: Time is Illmatic Screening And Live Performance In Oakland

Credit: Kimberly White/Getty Images

It’s a known fact that Illmatic has been considered one of the most classic in hip hop by music critics over the years, but at the time of its release, it even broke barriers. While writing for The Source at the time, which was in its prime years, Miss Info gave the debut album 5 mics in the magazine, which deemed it as a perfect album to the hip hop community who avidly credited the outlet for their excellent reviews.