Nas, who celebrates 20 years since the release of his 1994 debut album Illmatic this year, recently spoke about how he feels when he looks back at the two decades of his Hip Hop career. 

“I didn’t know I would even be still around this long,” Nas said in an interview with Revolt

Beyond not being able to predict this type of longevity, Nas said he also did not want it. 

“I didn’t want to be around this long in the game, to tell you the truth,” Nas said. “I was just happy to get a voice in. So, just being happy to get your voice, anybody out there who’s working on their first album or who’s only made one album, just think about 20 years from now, it’s gonna be a great feeling.” 

Nas’ reluctance to stay in the record industry is something he has discussed in the past. On “You’re Da Man,” a selection off 2001’s Stillmatic, Nas rapped about this.

“I once said, ‘If I, ever make a record, I’ll take a check and put something away for a rainy day to make my exit,'” Nas raps on the track. “But look at me now, 10 years deep.”  

Now 20 years deep in the industry, Nas announced illmaticXX, a twentieth anniversary edition of his debut album. Nas also recently announced that he is set to perform Illmatic in its entirety at Coachella. Meanwhile, a film about the making of Illmatic, Time Is Illmatic, is set to be released this year as well.  

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