Two thousand four marks the 10th anniversary of Nas’s debut album Illmatic. Nas quietly emerged in 1994 alongside Bad Boy records (featuring the debuts of both Notorious BIG and Puff Daddy). While Biggie and Puffy did their thing big, Illmatic became an instant classic, without the same fanfare. Nas is undeniably more talented than Bad Boy stars Puffy or Mase on the mic—spin this disc and hear the pristine production and effortlessly smooth flow for proof. If you’ve overlooked Illmatic, now is the time to get reacquainted.