7. Inspired the film Belly
There is solid evidence that Illmatic inspired the entire film. Why else would Hype cast non-actor Nasir as the lead? Add to that the number of scenes from the film that were lifted directly from the album including the entire last third of "One Love." Or the scene where they dramatize the line from "N.Y. State of Mind" in which Nas says "Give me a Smith and Wessun I'll have niggas undressing." No wonder the critics called Nas's raps cinematic.