DJ Scratch: Nas' "Illmatic" Changed Hip Hop

April 19, 2017 marks 23 years since Nas released his studio debut, which has over time become one the most venerated and influential Hip Hop albums all time.

For the anniversary, we’re sharing former DX News Editor Soren Baker’s interview with storied turntablist and producer DJ Scratch who explained how Illmatic changed Hip Hop. According to the Brooklyn native, it was the all-star team producers.

“That album was the only Hip Hop album ever made that formed a Voltron super producers and they weren’t super producers at that time but the best dudes,” said DJ Scratch. “They were just awesome producers and when they combined for one album. You know like how people put together super teams?”

Earlier this year, Grandmaster Scratch accused his former EPMD brothers shady business on Instagram. Giving an exclusive statement to DX, he gave reason for the social media post.

“There was so much more than just the EPMD stuff,” Scratch explained. “But the reason I said what I said is to keep my reputation strong with promoters who constantly hit my phone upset that I wasn’t at various EPMD shows. So this way, no one will be confused as to what my standing with the group is because there isn’t one.”

Nas has been on the minds rap fans for a while as they patiently wait for the follow-up to 2012’s Life Is Good. Speaking with DX’s Editor-In-Chief Trent Clark in an interview last year, he said this about his current mindstate.

“I’m in my zone,” he said. “And that’s just what it is. I always stuck with my message and my way, and that might not work for anybody else. I wouldn’t suggest people follow me, but I feel like the ones that can see where I’m going and they see some good in it, and if I can make somebody happy with the moves and I inspire somebody over there, then I inspire a generation. I inspire one man or one woman; I inspire a generation so anybody that can see the moves that I’m doing, I hope that is inspiration to them and that each one, teach one. So musically it’s same old, same old. Listening to Otis Redding, listening to Frank Sinatra and getting to my vibe has always just been as simple as that.”