Label: Get On Down
Catalog: GET 51297LP
2022 repress. "In 1994, hip-hop was going through a painful growth spurt. Since N.W.A. and Ice-T's ascent in the late '80s, the rap game was no longer owned by the east coast. After the worldwide popularity of Dr. Dre's The Chronic in 1992, things were looking even worse for hip-hop's hometown. The east coast/west coast feud that would indirectly claim the lives of Biggie and Pac was still in its infancy, but New York needed a shot in the arm. And as soon as the first lines of 'N.Y. State of Mind' kick in, bolstered by perhaps DJ Premier's darkest beat of all time, the entire east coast breathed a collective sigh of relief. God's son had arrived. Backed by an absolute all-star cast of New York's top-shelf producers -- Premier, Pete Rock, Large Professor, Q-Tip, and a youngster named L.E.S. -- the album never lets up. 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 proudly proclaimed, 'Don't f*** with the east? we are back.' It was a dark, hard record, made for heads in New York, not teeny-boppers in Des Moines. There were no dance beats, no crossover love songs. Just boom-bap and rhymes, skills, and heart."