Label: Columbia

This very well could be a case of an album's remarkable musical content retroactively making its name that much doper. We don't know exactly what Illmatic means-super fucking ill, we imagine-and we don't know why Nas reportedly chose to name his debut after an incarcerated friend, Illmatic Ice. But almost 20 years later, we know that Illmatic has become pretty much synonymous with the word "classic." Also: It just sounds really damn cool.

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