Born to Use Mics

Born to Use Mics: Reading Nas's Illmatic
TitleBorn to Use Mics: Reading Nas's Illmatic
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsDyson, Michael Eric, and Sohail Daulatzai
Number of Pages308
PublisherBasic Civitas Books
CityNew York
Publication Languageeng
ISBN or ASIN Number2147483647
Keywordsfamily, hiphop history, jazz, lyricism, Nas, New York City, storytelling
Copies at the Archive2

At the age of nineteen, Nasir "Nas" Jones began recording tracks for his debut album and changed the world forever. Released in 1994, Illmatic was hailed as a masterpiece and has proven itself one of the most influential albums in hip-hop history. With its close attention to beats and lyricism, and its riveting first-person explorations of the isolation and desolation of urban poverty, Illmatic was pivotal in the evolution of the genre.

In Born to Use Mics, Michael Eric Dyson and Sohail Daulatzai have brought together the best and brighest writers of the hip hop generation to confron Illmatic song by song, with each scholar assessing an individual track from the album. The result is a brilliant engagement with and commentary upon one of the most incisive sets of songs ever laid down on wax. 

 Featuring: Adilifu Nama, Guthrie P. Ramsey, Jr., James Peterson, Marc Lamont Hill, Mark Anthony Neal, Kyra Gaunt, Eddie S. Glaude, Jr., Imani Perry and More.