24 years ago, Nas dropped his seminal debut Illmatic to unanimous praise. The album is generally brought up in all-time discussions, and is one of a few dozen records to receive the hard-won prize of a Five-Mic rating from the once relevant Source Magazine (Benzino we hardly knew ye).

Nas was able to find cohesion over a team of in-demand producers, as legend would have it. Illmatic are the lyrics of a man wasting no time, establishing himself in quick succession. Two decades later, the record remains a point of interest, so much that Nas has found himself putting out retrospectives "on a trip through memory lane." The album for all its plaudits, may have saved a few souls in good time. Simple aphorisms such as "The World is Yours" and "Life's a Bitch" were completely exhumed by the rapper. His redefinition of those terms, on a philosophical level, remains in our vocabulary to this day.

In 2014, Nas performed Illmatic with the National Symphony Orchestra at The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. The live performance was subsequently aired on PBS as part of their Great Performances series. A special edition vinyl press of the performance has also been made available at Mass Appeal on their website's online shop, and it available for stream on iTunes.