Peak Time

Faith Newman on the 25th Anniversary of Illmatic

120 minsFirst aired 19 Apr 2019
Teddy Guerreo

Discussing one of the most iconic albums in hip hop history with the A&R rep who signed Nas’ groundbreaking debut.

On this day 25 years ago, Queensbridge native Nas released his debut album Illmatic on Columbia Records. Produced by DJ Premier, Large Professor, Pete Rock, Q-Tip, L.E.S. and Nas, the album epitomized a crackly, sample-heavy boom-bap sound. It was the perfect canvas for Nas’ free-flowing delivery of inner-city narratives spun in complex rhymes. Launching the young rapper’s career and cementing his place in New York’s hip-hop history books, Illmatic made an indelible impact. On today’s show, Vivian speaks with Faith Newman, the A&R agent who took a chance on an unknown 18-year-old rapper who forever changed the East Coast sound.


Engineered by Ryan Woodhall
Produced by Sara Casella

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