Deep Rap Cuts: Nas
In order to appreciate Nas' rich legacy, we have to move past Illmatic. Yes, it's one of the greatest rap recordings of all time, and quite possibly — no, definitely — his best work. But our collective obsession over it as some kind of Holy Grail of hip-hop art obscures a great career. Since his 1994 debut, Nas has released nine solo albums, eight of which are certified gold or better. Stillmatic, Hip Hop Is Dead, and Life Is Good are minor classics of the genre; some might throw in It Was Written as well. The Internet is littered with demos and freestyles as intriguing as any songs from his official albums. Nas even turned a few into an excellent compilation, The Lost Tapes. This playlist skims the depths of a brilliantly prolific artist.