Photo by Danny Clinch courtesy of Sony Music
As the Northeast patiently awaits the spring months, let this be a reminder that there will be more to celebrate than just warm weather. Nas’ landmark debut release Illmatic celebrates its 20th Anniversary this spring, with a special edition of the album dropping on April 15th. Titled Illmatic XX, the double disc (tracklist below) will feature rare remixes, and unreleased demos and freestyles.
With the release date nearing, we’re hyped to bring you one of the remixes from the album, a funky drum-fueled version of “It Ain’t Hard To Tell.” Delete stress like Motrin on this Monday with a re-imagined classic.
In accordance with the anniversary release, Nas is performing Illmatic front to back across the US, with shows at both the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts as well as this year’s Coachella Festival. Further details surrounding the tour will be released in the coming weeks.
“With Illmatic, I didn’t think about it. I just did it,” he said. “I believe everybody has good instincts. Now I’m a man from that past and I’m supremely grateful. There’s a Nigerian proverb ‘What is past is prologue.’ I’m here today because of Illmatic.”
For those looking to celebrate to the fullest, a feature-length documentary looking at the creation of the original album, “Time Is Illmatic,” will debut this year at the Tribeca Film Festival. The movie, from first-time filmmakers One9 (director/producer) and Erik Parker (writer/producer), delves into the social conditions that created the album; and the music legacy passed down from Nas’ Mississippi-born father and celebrated jazz musician, Olu Dara.
Disc 1: Remastered original album
1. The Genesis
2. N.Y. State Of Mind
3. Life’s A Bitch
4. The World Is Yours
6. Memory Lane (Sittin’ In Da Park)
7. One Love
8. One Time 4 Your Mind
10. It Ain’t Hard To Tell
Disc 2: Demos, Remixes & Live Radio
1. I’m A Villain (previously unreleased)
2. The Stretch Armstrong and Bobbito Show on WKCR October 28, 1993 (previously unreleased freestyle)
3. Halftime (Butcher Remix)
4. It Ain’t Hard To Tell (Remix)(promo single)
5. One Love (LG Main Mix)
6. Life’s A Bitch (Arsenal Mix)(promo single)
7. One Love (One L Main Mix)
8. The World Is Yours (Tip Mix)
9. It Ain’t Hard To Tell (The Stink Mix)(UK single)
10. It Ain’t Hard To Tell (The Laidback Remix)(UK single)