Every song on this album matters. From Premiers masterful N.Y State Of Mind to the AZ assisted Life's A Bitch and Pete Rocks piano laced The World Is Yours Illmatic starts out with a powerful trio of songs that easily could solidify this album as classic if it stopped right there. Other tracks such as Memory Lane and One Love show Nas focusing on his neighborhood and local legends that really molded him into the person he was which made them all just as important to us. Large Professor delivers the album's first single It Aint Hard To Tell while Premier delivers the album's certified street anthem Represent.
Serious to a fault, and lyrically dense to an extent that has possibly never been matched, the 20-year old Nas stood on the shoulders of his predecessors and made them proud with this one. Time is truly Illmatic.