Spin - 2/02, pp.106,1087 out of 10
- "...Navigates the divide between the poetic streak that made him a legend and the clumsy pop-oriented fluff that made him a star. STILLMATIC gets as close to the source as he's come in years..."
Q - 2/02, p.1123 stars out of 5
- "...Broader horizons, good production and a renewed flow of narrative detail bring a new lease to his life..."
Vibe - 2/02, p.1203.5 out of 5
- "...Poignant vignettes attest to Nas' still superb descriptive ability....at his best, Nas is still one of the finest..."
Contains the bonus track "Every Ghetto," which follows "What Goes Around."
Personnel includes: Nas, Mary J. Blige, Az.
Producers include: Nas, Ron Browz, Large Professor, DJ Premier, Salaam Remi.
Personnel includes: Nas, Amerie, AZ.
Producers include: Nas, Hangmen 3, Kevin Crouse, Large Professor, Baby Paul.
Personnel: Salaam Remi (guitar, Fender Rhodes piano, organ, drums, percussion); Keon Bryce (background vocals).
Audio Mixers: Jason Goldstein; DJ Premier; Eddie Sancho ; Kevin Crouse.
Recording information: Compass Point Studios, Nassau, Bahamas; D&D Studios, New York, NY; Hit Factory Studios, New York, NY; Lobo Recording, Long Island, NY; Patchwork Studios, Atlanta, GA; Playpen Recording Studios, New York, NY; Right Track Recording, New York, NY; Sony Studios, Santa Monica, CA.
Photographer: Sacha Waldman.
Unknown Contributor Role: Julian Alexander.
In 1994, Nas dropped his debut, ILLMATIC. More than just a classic, it's perhaps the definitive East Coast street hip-hop record, bereft of clich‚, rife with rich, inventive rhymes. His early coronation proved both blessing and curse, as his three follow-ups, while shining next to most platinum peers, never reached the ingenious heights of his introduction. Just by the title, STILLMATIC makes obvious its yearning to recapture that feel, a ridiculously tall order if not an impossible one, but it comes dangerously close, which merely makes it one of the top albums of its year.
At times it feels as if half of STILLMATIC consists of shots at Jay-Z, ex-cohort Prodigy, and others, at times thinly veiled, other times not veiled at all (the opening two words of "Ether"). Out of the mouths of others, this game would be old and boring. What allows Nas transcendence is that he is not your average hater posturing to sell records, he's earnestly responding to a slander with his supreme, unwavering lyrical style. Nas has an insane arsenal of words and an acute sense of incongruity, best illustrated on "Destroy and Rebuild," where he reverses the guns of KRS-One's blistering attack on Nas's home, Queensbridge ("The Bridge Is Over"), to both glorify his beloved 'hood and deny the MCs he believes have fallen off.