Followed Rakim footsteps, Nasir mastered his techniques: flow, rhyme and delivery. Picked up where Ra left off, Nas took the mic off the stage and out on the streets. His debut Illmatic is filled with streetwise literary. On “N.Y. State of Mind,” Nas gives a chill vibe when he spits, “I never sleep, cause sleep is the cousin of death.” His descriptive lyric is startling on “One Love,” especially with these lines, “Then I rose, wiping the blunts ash from my clothes / then froze, only to blow the herb smoke through my nose.” And the track that leaves me breathless is “Life’s a Bitch.” AZ, Nas’s tightest collaborator, kicks off the first verse like he has been waiting forever to be heard and it is his time to blow off. The hungriness in his flow made it seems like he could rhyme on forever. Then Nas brings it back with his cool and smooth delivery on the second verse. Yet, what leaves me speechless is the ending when Olu Dara, Nas’s pops, blows that intoxicating sound from his muted trumpet over the hip-hop beat. With nine solid tracks back to back, Illmatic is a hip-hop classic.