“My photo the Jordan logo of this rap s—,” raps Nas on 2021’s “YKTV” (shortened to say “You Know the Vibes”), from his Grammy-nominated King’s Disease sequel. Of course, that “photo” is none other than his bunker-buster debut Illmatic, which propelled hip-hop into the future upon its arrival in 1994. Off sheer impact alone, that album certainly makes a strong case for being the definitive emblem for the genre. But for now, on a blustery cold Friday night (Feb. 24) in New York City, the vibes were unquestionably certain for another pivotal occasion: Nas’ first headlining show at Madison Square Garden.
Never mind how long of a journey it’s been
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