Nas Explains How He Would Make "Illmatic 2"

Nas discusses what it would take for him to record "Illmatic 2."

Nas’ Illmatic is one of the most acclaimed albums in Rap history. The Queensbridge rapper said that he’s considered making Illmatic 2.

“[I] thought about it before,” Nas says during an interview with VIBE Magazine. "I definitely thought about that, but it has to flow. It has to be natural. I can work on that and then if I don’t like it, I’ma scrap it. I have to feel it, man. It got to be honest.”

Released in 1994, Illmatic featured the songs “One Love” and “Halftime.” During a 2012 interview, he said that the former was inspired by the letters he wrote to his incarcerated friend, something he reimagines on the song.

“When I was writing that record I had a friend who was in jail and the way he ended the letter I would be like ‘sincerely’ [or] whatever,” Nas said at the time. "[Instead] it was ‘one love.’ People were saying, 'One love’ everywhere so it was, ‘One love’ just felt strong. And I wrote the song as letters to friends of mine that were locked up…Q-Tip produced it and Q-Tip is so talented and I’m such a big fan of A Tribe Called Quest and all they albums that I felt like he brought such a jazz, but yet another vibe to the whole meaning of a hardcore song. Yes, it was written letters to guys in jail but the vibe of [the] music was just real smooth.”

In 2001, Nas released Stillmatic, which was deemed an unofficial follow-up to Illmatic.

RELATED: Nas Reminisces On "Illmatic," Speaks On Two Tracks Featured On The Album

100 Comments

  • WULFTICKET

    BRUH TOOTHTAKER ALREADY DID THAT SHIT SO NAS DIDN'T HAVE TO

  • Anonymous

    Raekwon was hungry though OBCL2 was a great follow up to his classic debut and nas has to be the same way

  • Anonymous

    The new album is called Brokematic.

  • el_0

    he could, long as he realizes he set the bar high for everybody, including himself. illmatic is still front to back listenable no skips, meaning every track on any kind of follow up has to be extra undoubtably tight. might take few years.

    • Big Bang

      Its dated now but somehow 20 years later it seems to always be the topic of best hip hop album of all time. Sure let you nerds tell it. Well I personally still bump that album tho I always thought It Was Written was a better album. But this nerd is correct Illmatic is so outdated, they only talk about it every other day on every hip hop site. Get rid of the nerds from this site its flooded with Geeks.

    • Anonymous

      If you aren't a Nas fan you'd skip every song on Illmatic. It was good for its time, but it's dated by now. Nas should focus on fresh ideas. Not gimmicks that won't work anyway.

  • Anonymous

    Coming soon from Nas and Def Jam, Crapmatic, 16 horrific songs featuring horrible beats, and boring lyrics.

  • PACER SSD

    WASNT STILLMATIC THE PART 2 OF ILLMATIC???.....GES HE FORGOT CUZ STILLMATIC WAS TRASH

    • notimortant

      "They thought I'd make another Illmatic, but it's always forward I'm movin,never backwards stupid. here's another classic" Stillmatic was never intended as a "sequel" to Illmatic. and for those trying to shit on Stillmatic your tastes in music is trash.

  • Susan Raines

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  • J Dirty

    Dr Dre's Chronic 2001 was a pretty bad ass sequel...They dont make good shit like that anymore tho.

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  • Anonymous

    he cant make it unless cormega and khadafi write it.

  • Anonymous

    I don't think Nas should release a sequel to Illmatic. There haven't been too many good sequels to classic rap albums. Raekwon was the only one to put a decent one out.

    • guest

      LF: yeah but I think they mean albums that were out for awhile like only built for cuban links can out in 96 and MMLP in 2000. I guess F&L was out for 6 years before the second one never mind lol

    • LF

      I thought Lupe Fiasco's Food and Liquor was a decent follow up.

  • FiyahMuzik

    Wasn't Illmatic 2 technically Stillmatic?

  • click

    Same mistake eminem made with MMLP2,, MMLP1 was 2 classic to have a follow up.personally i only like few songs from MMLP1

  • L.Swift

    Don't touch it Nas!

  • blitzlegga

    there is no greater fan of Nas than me, and even I don't want to see an Illmatic 2. The problem with these niggaz trying to recreate their classics comes down to one thing, they can't recreate the hunger that they had at that time. when you starvin, you make music from your soul and for the love. when you fat and rich, you make music for money. I blame Rae with Cubin Links 2. He started all this shit by making another classic album. now every nigga think they can do the same....

    • JustSayin

      Hunger can indeed be created or self-generated. For example Tom Brady has maintained his hunger/anger (you know keeping that chip on his shoulder) by not forgetting his harsh road to greatness, which is why Brady has continued to get better. And the reason why Nas' Life is Good LP is great is because Nas reflected on his harsh road to greatness on that album which brought back Nasty Nas.

    • Anonymous

      That's a BS criticism. Hunger isn't created, it exists because the person want's success. Once you are successful you ain't hungry no more 'cause you were fed what you were hungry for. Best you can hope for is that the artist wants to be the best and stays motivated. Nas can't credibly write lyrics about him being in the struggle cause he ain't struggling, everyone would call his BS.

    • _AA

      co-sign. you fuckin right the most rappers are only hungry on there first of second album and then its over.

    • Anonymous

      Do it the same, 10 tracks and 1 feature, just make the feature Elzhi over an unheard or unused Dilla track, couple Premo tracks, Pete Rock, Large Pro, Kanye (if he'll do a "Get By" by Talib type beat), Q-Tip, Madlib, 9th Wonder or Khrysis, and maaaaybe a Just Blaze track. Tell me you wouldn't buy that regardless of what he named it.

    • Anonymous

      I'd buy it if Nas used all the same classic producers who did tracks for that album. Maybe a couple of the new guys too, just the ones with that early 90's sound tho

  • Anonymous

    Is he capable of doing this without tarnishing the legacy of ill-matic? The point would be to bring a certain vibe back to the game and perhaps refresh a sound for these young cats who are wrapped up on billboard and don't really study the history on the culture of hip hop.

  • YMCMB AND ITS FANS KILLED HIP HOP

    If Nas did Illmatic 2 would it be better then MMLP2?? Also fuck Young Money as a staff record label and as a motherfuckin' crew, and if you want to be down with Young Money then fuck you too your the reason hip hop is in the state that its in !!

  • Anonymous

    There are 3 albums that never should have a sequel to it. Nas illmatic, wu tangs 36 chambers and snoops doggystyle. They are the 3 best albums of all time alongside biggies ready to die and dr dre's the chronic album. But in saying all that. I want snoop to make a similar sounding album to doggystyle just like I want Nas and wu tang to make similar sounding albums to there debut records. But just don't call them sequels. Nas can however and should make a sequel to it was written.

  • Anonymous

    Fuck sequels. Its just a marketing stunt to sell albums. And if he is making another illmatic he should work with: - drake - big sean - meek mill The best rappers at this moment.

    • Anonymous

      lol that nigga said Drake, Big Sean & Meek Mill. He must be on Bath Salt or somethin

    • EyezOvTheTigah

      Nigga shut the fuck up. Zhey ain't even real rappers. If they'd started recorded this shit in 90s they would've been killed in a minute. Nas should work with real hip-hop head like DJ Premier, AZ etc. Fuck this today's crap music. We ain't need that

  • JuFu

    If he feels that he can make a sequel to Illmatic, then I say go for it. A lot of rappers/MC's are making sequels from their successful LP's lately. Although it might not be as successful as his debut, I can guarantee it will be a solid album, especially if it's coming from Nas. To those who say Stillmatic was the sequel to Illmatic, I'm sorry but you are wrong. The title, Stillmatic, was a statement. He was re-establishing his credibility and went back to his Illmatic days. A lot of people at that time were losing interest in Nas because of his change of theme. That's why Jay-Z said what he said in Takeover and the rest is history which most of you should all know.

  • POA

    I hope he gets Lex Luther, 808 Mafia and Southside type beats for this album!!! SHIT WOULD BE SO DOPE...Fuck the usuals DJ Premier, Pete rock...all washed up

  • Ricky Rozay

    Take it from me, an alcoholic, alcohol is 100 times worse than pot. I didn't know alcohol was physically addicting. When I was 30 I decided to stop drinking. I have severe trembling, vomiting and hallucinations. I couldn't stop. 2 years later, I finally had an esophageal hemorrhage. I almost died and had to be operated on wide awake because my alcohol level was .32. No one, but NO ONE who smokes pot has ever gone through this. Not only should pot be legal but alcohol needs to be tightly regulated and its dangers should be taught to youth as soon as possible. Bawse!!!!!!!!!!

    • Anonymous

      So you're a 30 year old alcoholic Rick Ross groupie? Damn thats fucking hilarious. No wonder you're such a kook on the internet.

  • Baron Herron

    Nas should do illmattic 2 starring elzhi, hosted by nas. Maybe a guest verse or 2.

  • sam snead

    Don't do it, sequels to records just don't work out or live up to the original. stillmatic is the sequel anyways. Could name it off a song off illmatic though

    • Chris Etrata

      Possible ALbum titles off your suggestion The world is mine Life's a Bitch Sleep is related to Death Dear (friend incarnated in jail) Representing NY

  • Anonymous

    He already made Illmatic 2, its called Stillmatic. And it was better than Illmatic if you ask me.

    • Big 18th Street Gang, E'z up to the homies worldwide!

      HolidayStyles, opinion or not, there are certain things you just can't argue with. Even tho I also like "Hell On Earth" more than "Infamous" album, I also know that "Infamous" is the better album but not by all that much tho. As I said, "Wu-Forever" has too many filler/mediocre tracks. They should have done a single-disc instead of a double-disc. "36 Chambers" is the better album. Fuck Em, Jay-Z and Snoop.

    • Holiday Styles

      lol niggas getting angry sum ppl like diff things one my boys takes God Son all day over Illmatic n I don't argue he likes the album for diff reasons. IMO WU-TANG FOREVER > 36 CHAMBERS DOGGFATHER>DOGGYSTYLE HELL ON EARTH > THE INFAMOUS BLUEPRINT>RESONABLE DOUBT SLIM SHADY LP> MARSHAL MATHERS LP

    • FactsMachine

      This is the dumbest shit I've ever heard in my ENTIRE LIFE. It's an opinion, but DAMN it's a dumb one. Nas is waaay overrated but Illmatic is the greatest rap album of all time.

    • Big 18th Street Gang, E'z up to the homies worldwide!

      You guys are CLOWNS! Stop sniffing glue and talking dumb shit. Firstly, fuck your bullshit opinions. Secondly, "Stillmatic" really wasn't all that great of an album. For me, the album was boring, mostly because of the weak/wack ass beats and it's not even close to being as great as the legendary "Illmatic" album. NOT EVEN CLOSE! Thirdly, "Wu-Tang Forever" had way too many filler type tracks and would of been a much better album if it was released as a single-disc album. "36 Chambers" is the MUCH better album overall. classic joints all the way through, no filler.

    • NAS>>>JAY

      yea I thought wu-tang forever was better than 36 chambers as well

    • Fry

      There is no false opinion. Stillmatic was dope to the point that this guy thinks it was even more dope than Illmatic. I think Wu-Tang Forever was way better than 36 Chambers....shit happens. Opinions happen.

    • Anonymous

      And its a fact that nas thought rick ross is better than nas. His opinion is correct.

    • Anonymous

      I know youre entitled to your opinion but your opinion is false

  • D From Q.U.

    Why should Nas do Illmatic 2? If he does the sequel then most of you would say how much it sounds like Illmatic and doesn't meet the expectation, or people would say he needs to think outside of the box, cant please everybody smh. 'Ay yo, the brother's "Stillmatic" I crawled up out of that grave, wipin the dirt, cleanin my shirt They thought I'd make another "Illmatic" But it's always forward I'm movin Never backwards stupid here's another classic.

  • Born in 86

    " the first shall be the last ".......... remember ?

  • Anonymous

    No Illmatic 2, leave illmatic alone, nothing could live up to the expectations. Different times, Different way of thinking and lifestyle. Illmatic was a product of the Golden ERA. Impossible to make a Illmatic 2. Some records are just impossible to create a sequel to, Illmatic is one of them.

  • Nigga u crazy?

    Fuck that shit ......Make the DJ Premier album niggas been waitin on that longer than Detox

  • Not Impressed

    There's no real need for another Illmatic. That album was about a specific place and period in time and it was perfect. Another album with similar themes would not only be redundant, but it might lessen the significance of the original LP. Stillmatic is kind of like a spiritual successor anyway. Instead of a direct sequel to Illmatic I think he should make one more quality album with the "matic" theme. He could call it Re-Matic or something and use the old album cover style with a different variation of his face on it. I think a lot of his older fans would appreciate something like that.

  • new york

    NAS took a bad L in 1996 when PAC shitted on him (Against All Odds) and the recent never heard track (Watch Your Mouth) - He came back well on Stillmatic and yeah he won (VS Jay Z ) but he never came back at TUPAC . But defo one of the greats of all time . Its time to retire NASIR JONES

    • goonz

      ^no way is snoop dogg better than EVERY east coast artist. u tellin me he better than big L, pun, nas, jay, biggie, junior mafia, finesse, wu-tang, etc.? fuck outta here u stupid ass nigga the chronic and doggystyle lack the lyrical and intellectual insight than many east coast classics have (they both dope as fuck albums tho)

    • Anonymous

      Dr Dre and Tupac shits on Nas and Biggie. Snoop Dogg shits on every east coast artist.

    • JazzFlow

      Tupac dropped the dis track in the summer, Nas replied with the 2time platinum album IT WAS WRITTEN, this is what led up to NAS & PAC MTV fiasco, and then the peace - so there was no need for either of them to spit dirt on each other and they didn't! Read up on your rap history!

    • Anonymous

      MANNNNNN GET THE FUCK OUTTA HERE !

  • Anonymous

    I really hope he doesn't make Illmatic 2. I just don't see Nas, who hasn't had a classic album in over a decade, making a worthy follow up to the greatest rap album of all time. I'd rather just get a Nas, AZ, and DJ Premier collab album.

    • Anonymous

      Even getting nas, az, and dj premier has the potential to disappoint like that Firm album with Dr Dre producing. Also, don't people consider stillmatic to be illmatic 2?

  • Anonymous

    Nas meant illmatic 3. Illmatic 2 came out as stillmatic.

  • Anonymous

    So what would entail "doing it right" if he did it? I guess it would have to be strictly premo, pete rock, and large professor beats. I would say the subject matter has to be the same too.

  • Anonymous

    do it , but do it properly

  • FOH Nasqueer

    Nasqueer jones is a big head lame. Nobody is checking for boring ass nas or illmatic. Only a few delusional bi curious nas lovers.

  • imho

    asked jayz how naming blue print 3 worked.. asked Eminem how MMLP2- sure they sold bec they sell off the name even tho the music was shit.. only raekwon properly worked his sequel to his legend right and make it pop.

  • Anonymous

    Hahhahaha fucking dumb cunt acts like he didn't release "Stillmatic" and nobody gave a shit.

    • Anonymous

      although the name is similar fool. I have never read or heard that it is illmatic part 2. if it was questions like this wouldn't come up. you seem to have skipped half of my comment and reality to suit your argument. are you a politician?

    • Anonymous

      "stillmatic isn't seen as an illmatic part 2" Yeah cause it sucked. You're right though he totally didn't try to capitalize on the Illmatic name. Fucking tit.

    • Anonymous

      hahahaha. look in the mirror buddy. stillmatic isn't seen as an illmatic part 2 by anyone other than yourself. And double platinum in the states, 5 mics, critically revered. yep, no one cared....

  • One

    Do me a favor, Nas. Don't do a sequel to Illmatic. Just do another album. It's hard to make a 2nd when the expectation are already high if you call it Illmatic 2. Don't pull a Em.

    • Anonymous

      MMLP2 was an ok album with some great tracks but also some bad tracks like monster. The better title would be Recovery 2.

    • imho

      agreed^ or pull a jayz with blueprint 3. cool hits but it should of been nowhere near blueprint name.

  • Anonymous

    I always thought Stillmatic was the sequel to Illmatic

  • wolfman

    It's time, Nas. Stillmatic was half-time. Realmatic concludes the trilogy, end with the eulogy. It influenced me, awakens the youth in me... Truthfully, who don't want to see another Illmatic? God damn, shit was Classic.

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