Nas made copies of "Illmatic" for his friends, but didn't predict how widespread the leak would become.
Yesterday, REVOLT TV played host to Nas for a discussion surrounding the 20th anniversary of his classic debut, Illmatic. Among other things, Nas revealed that he himself had contributed to the infamous leak of the album before its release date:
“I heard a lot of stories, but I feel guilty too because I was making tapes for my friends,” he said. “I didn’t think about it like, ‘My album's gonna come out,’ but I made a few copies for my boys. Everybody wanted a copy so I just gave them a copy. It was playing in the neighborhood, so I thought it was cool that the neighborhood had the copies first until I heard [that] it was in [Los Angeles], Chicago, and all these different places. I was messed up for a minute. It was dope, too, at the same time because I knew people liked it. It was cool.”
As the release of Illmatic predated file sharing, it's pretty crazy to think how fast it spread from Queensbridge, NY to L.A. when it only existed in hard copy. Chalk it up as another testament to how dope Nas' debut is and was.
Read more excerpts from Nas' interview yesterday at HipHopDX.