wax Poetics

Nas's Illmatic 25th anniversary mixtape by Chris Read

published online
By Wax Poetics

Nas's Illmatic 25th anniversary mixtape by Chris Read
Nas's Illmatic 25th anniversary mixtape by Chris Read

    April 19, 1994, saw the release of one of what would go on to be recognized as one of the greatest hip-hop albums of all time, Nas‘s seminal debut, Illmatic. Following much-talked-about appearances on Main Source‘s “Live at the Barbecue,” MC Serch‘s “Back to the Grill,” and the release of the now classic soundtrack cut “Halftime,” Illmatic delivered on the hype with a compact ten-track offering helmed by the cream of mid-’90s hip-hop production talent: DJ Premier, Pete Rock, Q-Tip, and L.E.S.. Pairing crisp head-nod drums with an eclectic palate of jazz, funk, and soul samples, the all-star lineup of producers prepared a musical backdrop over which Nas delivers a no-holds-barred guided tour of life growing up in New York’s Queensbridge projects. Sampled cuts range from the timeless jazz of Ahmad Jamal and jazz-funk of Donald Byrd to the pop of Michael Jackson via well-sampled staples by the likes of Kool & the Gang. 

    In celebration of the album’s twenty-fifth year, we’ve partnered once again with WhoSampled to present an exclusive mix of album cuts, remixes, interview snippets, and of course tracks sampled in the album’s making mixed by Chris Read. Listen below and check out the track listing with sample credits beneath:


    1. Introduction to the movie Wild Style (sampled in “Genesis”)
    2. Chris Read – "Theme #3 (Scratchapella)"
    3. Jimmy Gordon & His Jazzpops Band – "Walter L" (sampled in “One Time 4 Your Mind”)
    4. Nas – "One Time 4 Your Mind"
    5. Donald Byrd – "Flight Time" (sampled in “NY State of Mind”)
    6. Joe Chambers – "Mind Rain" (sampled in “NY State of Mind”)
    7. DJ Premier “Off the Record” Interview
    8. Kool & The Gang – "N.T [Loop]" (sampled in “NY State of Mind”)
    9. Nas – "NY State of Mind"
    10. Eric B & Rakim – "Mahogany [Extract]" (sampled in “NY State of Mind”)
    11. Ahmad Jamal Trio – "I Love Music" (sampled in “The World is Yours”)
    12. T La Rock and Jazzy Jay – "It’s Yours [Extract]" (sampled in “The World Is Yours”)
    13. Nas – "The World Is Yours"
    14. Nas – "The World Is Yours (Tip Mix)"
    15. Kool & The Gang – "N.T." (sampled in “The World Is Yours (Tip Mix)”)
    16. Reuben Wilson – "We’re in Love" (sampled in “Memory Lane (Sittin’ in the Park)”)
    17. Biz Markie – "Pickin’ Boogers [Extract]" (sampled in “Memory Lane (Sittin’ in the Park)”)
    18. Marley Marl feat Craig G – "Droppin’ Science [Extract]" (sampled in “Memory Lane (Sittin’ in the Park)”)
    19. Nas – "Memory Lane (Sittin’ in the Park)"
    20. Clyde McPhetter – "Mixed up Cup [Loop]" (sampled in “One Love (One L Remix)“)
    21. The Gap Band – "Yearning for Your Love" (sampled in “Life’s a Bitch”)
    22. Nas feat AZ & Olu Dara – "Life’s a Bitch"
    23. Stanley Clarke – "Slow Dance" (sampled in “It Ain’t Hard to Tell”)
    24. Michael Jackson – "Human Nature" (sampled in “It Ain’t Hard to Tell”)
    25. Mountain – "Long Red [Extract]" (sampled in “It Ain’t Hard to Tell”)
    26. Extract from movie Time is Illmatic
    27. Nas – "It Ain’t Hard to Tell"
    28. Kool & The Gang – "N.T [Extract]" (sampled in “It Ain’t Hard to Tell”)
    29. The Bue Jays – "What Do You Want From Me Woman?" (sampled in “It Ain’t Hard to Tell (Remix)”)
    30 . Biz Markie feat TJ Swan – "Nobody Beats the Biz [Extract]" (sampled in “It Ain’t Hard to Tell (Remix)”)
    31. Nas – "It Ain’t Hard to Tell (Remix)"
    32. Heath Bros – "Smilin Billie Suite Pt II" (sampled in “One Love”)
    33. Nas feat Q-Tip – "One Love"
    34. Nas feat Sadat X – "One Love (One L Remix)"
    35. Nas feat Q-Tip – "One Love (LG Remix)"
    36. Lee Erwin – "Theif of Bagdad" (sampled in “Represent”)
    37. Nas – "Represent"
    38. Japanese Hair Cast – "Dead End" (sampled in “Halftime”)
    39. Average White Band – "School Boy Crush [Loop]" (sampled in “Halftime”)
    40. Gary Byrd – "Soul Travelin’ Pt. 1 [Extract]" (sampled in “Halftime”)
    41. Nas – "Halftime"