Nas’ debut album, Illlmatic, which was released 20 years ago today (April 19, 1994), is one of, if not his most celebrated project yet. The album, which was released via Columbia Records, is not his best-selling effort, however. That honor goes to 1996’s It Was Written.
HipHopDX looked into the sales figures for all of Nas’ solo studio albums. The Queensbridge emcee’s solo work has included several sets, including his most recent project, Life Is Good.
Sales figures for Nas’ Illmatic XX have not been released, therefore the project is not included. The effort, which includes remixes of the emcee’s 1994 debut album, received a 3 out of 5 in its HipHopDX review. “For the last 20 years, Nas has both run from and back to Illmatic,” HipHopDX said in its review of the project. “He’s mocked Golden Era romanticists rhyming, ‘They thought I’d make another Illmatic, but it’s always forward I’m moving / Never backwards stupid, here’s another classic’ on an album whose very title, Stillmatic, incorporated the name of his crowning artistic achievement. Now, two decades removed from his debut, Sony/Columbia offers a re-release of Illmatic. The inherent trouble with such reflections is that without new perspectives, they’re essentially overpriced reminders of the source material. This is where Illmatic XX resides.”
The sales figures of Nas’ albums are as follows, as of March 2014. All figures below are in the following format: Album title, Label, Year, Sales Total.
Illmatic Columbia 1994 1,654,000
It Was Written Columbia 1996 2,595,000
I Am… Columbia 1999 2,178,000
Nastradamus Columbia 1999 1,262,000
Stillmatic Columbia 2001 2,179,000
God’s Son Columbia 2002 1,362,000
Lost Tapes Columbia 2002 361,000
Street’s Disciple Columbia 2004 724,000
Hip Hop Is Dead Def Jam 2006 785,000
Untitled Def Jam 2008 480,000
Life Is Good Def Jam 2012 380,000
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