Nas Admits Leaking "Illmatic"

Update: A video clip of Nas discussing his role in leaking "Illmatic" surfaced.

Nas visited REVOLT Live yesterday [April 10] and discussed the twentieth anniversary of his debut album, Illmatic. In an interview with hosts Sibley and DJ Damage, Nas admitted to playing a role in leaking the then highly anticipated project.

“I heard a lot of stories, but I feel guilty too because I was making tapes for my friends,” he said. “I didn’t think about it like, ‘My album's gonna come out,’ but I made a few copies for my boys. Everybody wanted a copy so I just gave them a copy. It was playing in the neighborhood, so I thought it was cool that the neighborhood had the copies first until I heard [that] it was in [Los Angeles], Chicago, and all these different places. I was messed up for a minute. It was dope, too, at the same time because I knew people liked it. It was cool.”

The Queens, New York-native also explained that he initially felt nervous once he realized several emcees were using similar rhyme techniques as the one he displayed on Illmatic. He said he never expressed those feelings publicly because “that’s sucker shit.”

“I had a little nervousness because I felt like just when I was starting to get going, it’s about to be taken from me,” Nas said. “One thing I never did was went public with that because that’s sucker shit. I would say every time a new artist comes into the business you want to inspire everybody. If you get nervous about it, that’s cool…but that means the challenge is on now. What are you made of? You can’t be crying and complaining that, ‘This one got my style.’

He continued: “I know I was inspired by those before me, too. So there’s stuff I took from them naturally. It’s a give and take thing. We’re supposed to do that. I wouldn’t do anything where it’s too much of copying somebody. I try to stay original, but we all feed off each other and we’re supposed to do that. So that’s why I say don’t complain about it because if someone took my thing, I got something from somebody else and it goes on. Just don’t’ complain about it. Just get to work.”

When asked about the influx of Hip Hop album covers featuring an image of the artist as a child following Illmatic, Nas said simply, “That’s love.”

Illmatic was released on April 19, 1994. Nas will release Illmatic XX on April 15, 2014 through Sony Legacy.

REVOLT Live airs on REVOLT every Monday through Friday at 5pm EST.

[April 11]

Update #1

A clip of Nas discussing his role in Illmatic's leak is now available.

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73 Comments

  • Anonymous

    I C your catching hurt feelings lol For the sake of spirited debate let me say "again" that Nas was an east coast artist. Now unless Nastradamus was going back and forth to the west coast doing radio station interviews, or doing the club circuit, he would have no way of gauging how well his album was being anticipated.

  • Anonymous

    "Outside of NY, nobody knew or cared who Nas was. It only went gold initially because it didn't have that west coast polished sound, not to mention it was boring." ^ this is what the mental patient said even though the article states: "so I thought it was cool that the neighborhood had the copies first until I heard [that] it was in [Los Angeles], Chicago, and all these different places" ^ clearly says the west coast right? look at how the pussy wants you believe he's right, trying to speak with a "corporate eloquence" like he has the accurate information but it's all false information but I've already said his parents, teachers, elders ain't give a flying f-ck about him, they let him reach adulthood believing he has all the answers about sh-t he's never been associated with

    • lex

      ^Nah, he's telling the truth. The west coast wasn't fucking with east coast rappers back then

    • ^

      You're just making up lies.

    • Anonymous

      C'mon son, just admit it, Illmatic just wasn't popping outside of NYC until later, I've been in L.A. since the 70's and can't remeber not one person listening to that until like 2001

    • Anonymous

      tupaC ? is that you down in africa?

    • Anonymous

      I'm gonna use this word this one time specifically for you, you're f-cking RETARDED, dude, FOR REAL who the f-ck would believe YOU know what it was more than him and it's HIS MUSIC you go on ahead and try to rewrite history to fit your pussified ways fuckboy, entertain us so we can laugh at your stupidity

    • Anonymous

      Notice Nas said that's what he heard, not what he knew. I realize you love these old has been's, probably cause you're an old has been yourself, but Illmatic only went gold initially. There was no big movement. It wasn't until It Was Written that Nas started getting commercial love everywhere, thanks to L. Hill.

  • Anonymous

    "in his hood" It's called an expression, I.E. a figure of speech. Who allowed you to graduate?

  • Niggas I Ain't Ashamed Of Dickriding

    1 - Nas 2 - LeBron 3 - Jadakiss 4 - Black Thought 5 - Chris Bosh

  • drake runs rap

    drake os the best nas is a poor wanna be irrelevent old ass nigga

  • Anonymous

    "Yeah, let's forget the fact that his friends and his hood were bumping the album, that Nas heard his album in different cities, and also that Illmatic went platinum over the years and is still a highly regarded album" Key word, in his hood. Outside of NY, nobody knew or cared who Nas was. It only went gold initially because it didn't have that west coast polished sound, not to mention it was boring. Yes, it's somewhat regarded today, but so are alot of albums, so chill.

  • Lord Jamar Is An Uncle Tom

    This baboon can't even put sentences together when he's getting interviewed. How the fuck does he write his lyrics?! GHOST WRITER!!!!

    • Anonymous

      Trolls keep screaming ghost writer with no proof or evidence. We don't believe you, you need more people.

  • Anonymous

    Illmatic was before my time. It actually is boring to me. The oldest album I mess with is Tupac-Ambitionz as a Ridah Actually that might be the ONLY album of the 90s I still mess with besides Jay first album. Biggie isnt bad either. But illmatic is boring. I find Joey Bada$$ boring as well. Nas is a beast tho. I grew up on Stillmatic. Thats the first album I ever bought. Stillmatic is the second most underrated album in hip hop period. His beats on illmatic just dont retain my attention.

    • Anonymous

      all I gotta say is you missing a whole lot of music like them Wu classics, Pete Rock beats, Gang Starr anthems, Tribe's funk, Redman's antics, Onyx' stick up kid raps, MOP's grit, Boot Camp Click's Timberland music I'm not gonna fault you for copping your 1st album that was made in 2001, I don't expect every rap music fan to have a Grandmaster Flash record

    • Anonymous

      Ambitionz as a Ridah ain't an album bro

  • Anonymous

    All Eyez on Me* My bad.

  • Anonymous

    Nobody wanted copies of that boring album.

    • Anonymous

      The people who bought the album don't think it's boring. Only people with no music taste think it's boring.

    • Anonymous

      Yeah, let's forget the fact that his friends and his hood were bumping the album, that Nas heard his album in different cities, and also that Illmatic went platinum over the years and is still a highly regarded album. Moron.

  • Jester

    He should have kept the same theme cover for Stillmatic but him as a Soldier witht he helmet on

  • Anonymous

    As great as this album is, still think It Was Written is better.

  • Bret Hart

    The Best there is, the best there was, the best there ever will be Soundcloud.com/p-ez-2

  • Fuck Queensbridge

    Fuck this nikka and his L's

  • jimjim

    whats he doing now whos he signed to shitty nas sells like whoa

  • DAMN

    Damn a nigga didn't know that, legendary album

  • SP

    They should of put a dvd about illmatic with the album or finally put out all his videos since God's Son album on dvd.I already got the original n the platinum edition gotta buy this one as well. Nas one the few mc's as good now as when he started only a few rappers you can say that about that been in the game 15 or 20 years Nas Ghostface Killah Jadakiss Scarface and Eminem arguably

  • dD

    sick of this washed up boring ass mofo. illmatic mad overrated shit sell only platinum in 20 years oac all day shit on any nas album

  • Anonymous

    illmatic great after that he became Nas escobar the gangsta and fell off

    • Nas still raps as good now as illmatic

      only Nas album I didn't like was streets disciple double cd could of made that a single album would of been good so many wack beats on there. I actually liked Nastradamus mostly but Big Girl You Owe Me God Love Us should of been burned big girl prolly nas worst ever track

    • Grammar Nazi

      ^Wow, my nigga, is it really that hard to use a period?

    • stillatit

      critically acclaimed i agree with the sales i dont every 5 yrts shit goes up & down fuck numbers its the quality of the material

    • Anonymous

      lol at u delusional niggaz, only nas album worth respecting is Illmatic

    • R.Pgh

      How do you fall off when 90% of your albums are critically acclaimed and selling better than your first?

    • asdasd

      Give me a break. Every artist that has been in the industry for 20 years has had the goods and the bads, Nas included. He proved he's still got it on the 2012 album Life is Good.

  • def jamm assistant

    i leaked yeezus. kanye sue me

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