10. Established the King of New York Title
Although Biggie would coin the term Frank White, named after Christopher Walken's character in the 1990 film King Of New York, the KONY concept was established with Illmatic. Rarely has the birthplace of hip-hop been so unanimous in praise of a rap record and the MC who made it. And it came at the moment when Dr. Dre's The Chronic had established the fact that the Best Rapper Alive could come from all points on the compass. But holding the title KONY is akin to the papacy of rap-a throne that can only be occupied by Gotham city's reigning lyricist. Illmatic became the standard by which all subsequent KONY applications would be judged.