Who else would want to see an audiophile grade remaster of Illmatic by Nas?
Oct 4, 2012 at 12:13 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 10


Formerly known as KingOfTheWild.
Jun 17, 2012
Washington State, USA
Hello, I just wanted to see how many people on head-fi would want to see a remaster of Illmatic by Nas that would get the stamp of approval from us audiophiles. I doubt that I am alone in thinking that there needs to be a remaster of Illmatic. Please cast your votes in my poll AND also respond if you would.
EDIT: The reason why I ask is that I asked on the Steve Hoffman forums if anyone who wants to could request that Steve do a remaster for an album and someone gave me the good idea that I should start a thread to see how many other people would be interested in an audiophile remaster of this album. If I got a lot of other people who also expressed interest in such a thing, I could give Steve a link to this thread so that he could see that there was a good number of people who wanted the same thing as me so he would be a lot more likely to go through with it.
Oct 31, 2012 at 4:52 AM Post #3 of 10
I looked back 3 pages, and this is the only hip hop thread I found. What gives? Anyway, what a perfect forum for me to bloviate on how I feel about Illmatic and remasters in general.
I don't like remasters. As far as I'm concerned, when the final mixdown is done, the album is finished for good. The way the album sounds is usually the way it was intended to sound, for better or worse. There are few exceptions where I consider a remaster acceptable. One is when an album is produced early in an artist's career, before that artist had the resources necessary to achieve desired sound. In the hip hop vein, Eminem's first album, Infinite, sounds horrible, especially compared to his mega-budget albums produced under the auspices of Dr Dre. That one could use an overhaul. I suppose remasters are easier to accept if they're done by the artist or original producer personally. This can backfire, however, as we've seen with George Lucas' inability to leave Star Wars the hell alone. Illmatic was indeed Nas' debut, but it sounds fantastic, both on CD and record. Unless Nas himself calls for a remaster, I'm not calling for one.
As for Illmatic per se, I consider it a classic, but not an all-time hip hop masterpiece. I'd say it's overrated, but only in the sense that while most give it a 10/10, I give it a 9/10. Fantastic album, but not the end all, be all of hip hop. Yes, Reasonable Doubt is better.
Nov 2, 2012 at 3:53 AM Post #4 of 10
An official remaster was released in 2004 (celebrating 10th Anniversary) actually. The only caveat I have with the original was the volume, which they thankfully addressed.
Illmatic is my favorite album of all time. Reasonable Doubt is definitely another classic, but nothing touches Illmatic for me.
Dec 26, 2012 at 8:09 AM Post #5 of 10
You know what, I've changed my mind. I don't care that it's been over a month, I've come back around to loving Illmatic all over again. It's a perfect album. Reasonable Doubt may have higher high points, but the low points are... wait, Illmatic has no low points. Illmatic wins. It's my third favorite hip hop album of all time behind Ultramagnetic MC's Critical Beatdown and Black Moon's Enta Da Stage. That said, I still don't think a remaster is necessary.
(hopefully a mere month doesn't count as necromancy)
Dec 26, 2012 at 4:34 PM Post #6 of 10
lol u lucky u just added that last part, illmatic deserves its classic status, personally i also feel its better than reasonable doubt by a decent margin, i always felt blueprint was jays best and i would rather people compared that album to illmatic but ehhh, doesnt change the fact that they're both classic albums
as far as remasters go, my knee jerk reaction was to say "hell yeah lets do it!" but then i got to thinking about the state of mixdowns and mastering today and thought if anything, they'd probably make illmatic worse, they're probably just raise the levels across the board and lower the dynamics if anything, just make everything louder and probably filter out any record pops or something along those lines
i'd definitly be curious about a remaster if it ever came out, most likely pick it up since i only owned used copies of illmatic and never gave him my money, gotta support the artists you love :)
edit: forgot to add, even tho i consider illmatic a perfect album, 5 out of 5, i do still feel the track one time slows down the tempo of the album considerably, but not enough to kick up a fuss about
Dec 28, 2012 at 7:42 AM Post #8 of 10
I love Illmatic. It's a phenomenal album. I would love a properly done audiophile remaster. No doubt. I only own the CD and would love a good LP. The CD sounds good enough, being a CD.. I think. But I have no idea how the vinyl sounds. If there was an audiophile LP out I'd jump on it for sure. I don't think it's a bad idea to have various versions of one phenomenal album to be released. Surely, the remasters must be done with the love and care such epic works require. 
jallen: what a great finding! This looks pretty amazing!! :D  It's out of stock for now.. 

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