Nas, Illmatic (1994) / It Was Written (1996)

Label: Columbia

J. Cole: ”When this album dropped I had to be nine, so I give myself a pass for missing out on this at first. It wasn't until my cousin forced me to listen to ‘I gave you power’ off of It Was Written that I realized Nas was one of the greatest, and I had some homework to do! Illmatic is one of those albums that demonstrates the highest level of lyricism possible!”