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  • Awesome Music: Let's start with Illmatic and go from there.
  • Base Breaker: Fan opinions of Nastradamus are, well, varied. Some consider it his worst album, others feel that it's one of his stronger albums.
  • Creator Breakdown: Nas was creatively running on fumes for Nastradamus due to his mother's worsening illness, and it shows.
  • Faux Symbolism: Some of the music video for "Hate Me Now" is kinda reminiscent of some Passion Play.
  • First Installment Wins: Illmatic.
    • In a rare double-example of this trope, Nas's first on-record appearance, on the Main Source's "Live at the Barbeque", is considered by some to be one of his best verses.
  • Magnum Opus: Illmatic again.
    • Not at the same level as Illmatic, but many consider Life is Good to be the Magnum Opus of Nas at a different point in his life (he was in his teens making Illmatic, he made Life is Good when pushing 40).
  • Seasonal Rot: Nastradamus does have its moments, but it's widely regarded as his weakest album.
    • With the help of hindsight, Hip Hop Is Dead seems significantly less impactful/meaningful than the three albums that followed it—his untitled album for its Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped approach to race relations, Distant Relatives for its pan-African consciousness, and Life Is Good for its well-grounded examination of his own life as a man who'd made it through the madness of his youth and became a more grounded, balanced person. Compared to these, Hip Hop Is Dead is rife with tired cliches, though it does have good moments as well.
  • Signature Song: "N.Y. State of Mind".
  • So Bad, It's Good: Many consider "Shoot 'Em Up" from Nastradamus to be this, as it's a generic gangsta story rapped entirely to the tune of Christmas carols.
  • Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped: Much of his untitled album discusses racism, social inequality, and censorship in a blunt manner.
  • Tough Act to Follow: Nothing he has made after Illmatic has been so acclaimed.
  • Vindicated by History: His second album, It Was Written, which was given flak for not being Illmatic 2, has since grown in status over the years.
    • It's been said that Illmatic is his best album if you're a fan, It Was Written is what you study if you want to be a rapper.

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