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10 Ways Nas' "Illmatic" Changed Hip-Hop

2. Introduced New Words and Concepts

Wisdom be leaking out Nas' grapefruit. Illmatic's precise poetry introduced new terms and phrases that infiltrated hip-hop's lexicon. "The World Is Yours," Nas' reference to the blimp in Scarface, has remained a trope hip-hop has taken to heart, and as such bears the dubious distinction of spawning countless lesser incarnations-Shaq Fu's acronym TWISM (The World is Mine) comes to mind. Other Nas-isms that caught fire: "Sleep is the cousin of death," "half-man, half amazing," and even the word "Illmatic" itself, which became synonymous with anything surprisingly excellent, street-born and/or out of left field.

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