This coming Saturday will mark the 20th anniversary of Nas' landmark debut, Illmatic, and to celebrate, the Queens MC has reissued the album, complete with a bonus disc of rarities and remixes. Stream the two disc reissue, entitled Illmatic XX, above.
In this new reissue, the original Illmatic remains intact and unchanged on the first disc, while the second disc culls together remixes of the album's tracks, all of which have been available for years on physical copies of the five singles that the album spawned. So apart from the previously-unreleased "I'm A Villain" and a recently-unearthed freestyle on the Stretch and Bobbito show (neither of which are currently available to stream via Spotify), consider Illmatic XX a shortcut for superfans who don't want to buy the five 12" singles you previously needed to assemble the full Illmatic package.
That being said, the remixes on Illmatic XX's second disc are generally great, and present a cool kind of alternate history for the legendary album. What if Q-Tip's mix of "The World is Yours" had made it on the original album? Would it still have been sampled on Jay Z's "Dead Presidents" two years later? These and other questions might merely be the fodder of rap nerds like yours truly, but if you're still reading the third paragraph of a write-up on an Illmatic reissue, chances are you fit into that box too.