Released on April 19th, 1994 "Illmatic" by Nas is regarded as one of the best hip-hop albums of all time. The album debuted at number 12 on the Billboard Top 100 albums and sold 92,000 copies in it's first week. By 2001 over 1 million copies were sold and it eventually hit two million copies sold in 2019. Boasting some of the games heavy hitter producers such as Large Professor, DJ Premier, Pete Rock, Q-Tip and LES the album lived up to the hype.
Initially it wasn't received as a commercial success but the recognition came over time as more and more people recognized the pure lyrical brilliance of Nas accompanied by the top level production on the album. The Source gave the album a 5 mic rating much to the disapproval of other MC's of the time.