I’m a casual hip hop listener at best. Then recently, the massive impact of Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly was too much to resist. And catching up on some Kendrick was an inevitability I’m glad I gave into. While talking to a mate who’s a massive hip hop fan, as much as he loves Lamar’s two studio albums, he praised Nas and Illmatic even more. So since his recommendation on Lamar proved so spot on, there was no way I wasn’t gonna give Illmatic a spin.
Maybe the sketch, or movie sample, or whatever it at the top of The Genesis is there to set some sort of tone for the record to come. But here’s the thing, like every single sketch in the history of hip hop albums, it’s a totally unnecessary speed bump. Especially when The Genesis itself is such a strong song, it sets the tone perfectly, without the wasted 30 seconds or so of its prelude. (more…)