It really doesn't matter how talented you are: You are absolutely asking for hate if you drop an album with a title like Hip-Hop Is Dead and it's not universally seen as a classic. Yes, a majority critics thoroughly enjoyed and, in some cases, loved Nas' eighth record. But that wasn't the overwhelming opinion of the general rap-loving public, who were primarily just pissed off that he tried to say their culture was dead.

As a result, most of them listened to the album with preconceived notions and were quick to toss it aside. You also have those certain Illmatic stans (that term might not be strong enough) who will dismiss anything that isn't, well, Illmatic. In doing that, they're obviously missing out on one of the more storied and unjustifiably hated-on discographies in hip-hop.

So go ahead, fire up Hip-Hop Is Dead in whatever player you use these days and give it a fair listen removed from all the hype and hoopla. Oh, and also ignore the fact that you already heard that Iron Butterfly an album earlier, and you'll be left with some damn-fine listening for the next 63 minutes.

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