The We The Best mogul took to Instagram on Wednesday (May 24) to showcase the black and white photo, which finds a young Nas standing at an intersection in his Queensbridge housing projects and looking back at the camera.
“The photographer that took this picture for Nas’ Illmatic in ’93, signed this picture for me and gave me this,” Khaled said in the video. “This is a classic. It’s Hip Hop. Man, this is a classic.”
Check out the clip below:
— HipHopDX (@HipHopDX) May 25, 2023
“I captured him looking back at me guiding me,” Clinch said. “He took me for a walk around his neighborhood, and I shot some [photos] of him from the back. What’s crazy is that the two cars outside look like identical. It was a one-way street which is why they’re facing the same way.”
He added: “Nas was a poet. He was wise beyond his years. At the time, Hip Hop was about representing where you were from and telling stories of how you grew up and became you. And, that’s what he did. That’s what made ‘Illmatic’ so special.”
Highly regarded as one of the greatest rap albums of all time, Nas’s Illmatic was added to the Library of Congress back in 2021, with librarian Carla Hayden calling the LP one of the “audio treasures worthy of preservation for all time based on their cultural, historical or aesthetic importance in the nation’s recorded sound heritage.”
“The National Recording Registry will preserve our history through these vibrant recordings of music and voices that have reflected our humanity and shaped our culture from the past 143 years,” Hayden said. “We received about 900 public nominations this year for recordings to add to the registry, and we welcome the public’s input as the Library of Congress and its partners preserve the diverse sounds of history and culture.”
Released on April 19, 1994, Illmatic debuted at No. 12 on the Billboard 200 chart and sold over 63,000 copies in its first week. The album was certified 2x-platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) in February 2019, after initially selling a million copies by December 2001.