Nas' potential is so immense that it puts him in the uncomfortable position of living up to a level of artistic greatness that presumably doesn't exist. Case in point, Illmatic was an unintentional classic. It came at a time when Hip Hop wasn't begging for a savior. Nas just became its leader. There was no pressing cultural issue that demanded an icon. Nas just rolled his young sleeves up and menaced the microphone.