Quickly becoming the industry trend, remix albums have flourished the past year, scorching the charts and racking up big numbers across the board. As record companies look to make a quick buck, remix albums have shown up all over the industry from P. Diddy to Cypress Hill. Looking to cash in on this trend, Columbia Records and Nas decided to release a six track remix album entitled "From Illmatic To Stillmatic The Remixes." And, while remix albums usually encompass a mix between new and old material, "From Illmatic To Stillmatic" goes the opposite route, delivering mostly old joints that have been floating around the industry for quite some time now.
The first thing one notices about "From Illmatic To Stillmatic" is the album's length or its lack of tracks. With only six tracks, that most Nas fans have already, "From Illmatic To Stillmatic" is more like a collector's item than anything else. However, the album's length is the least of its problems. While most of the tracks featured on the album are beautifully redone (minus the "Affirmative Action Remix"), the album's main problem does not lie within the songs themselves but in Columbia's horrendous decision to not produce a explicit version of the album. As shocking as it may seem, Columbia Records decided to blatantly and blindly rip the consumers off by editing the album and not letting the public know before hand.
As history has proven, Hip-Hop and editing do not go well together. Tracks such as "Life's A Bitch" and "One Love" are hard to listen to now due to the editing even though the production is one point. Every drug reference, curse word, and possible negative meaning are edited out and after awhile becomes tedious and frustrating. However if one can it past the editing, "From Illmatic To Stillmatic" is still a solid album filled with great remixes. The Arsenal's remix of "Life's A Bitch" blends perfectly and mixes well with the environment AZ and Nas depict. Large Professor's classic remix of 'It Ain't Hard To Tell" is a welcomed edition as is LG's remix of the classic Q-Tip Nas collaboration of "One Love." The male vocal thrown in for "One Love's" hook is nicely placed, giving the track a more soulful feel.
The Trackmasters come through with two remixes, the classic "Street Dreams" featuring R. Kelly, and the lackluster remake of "Affirmative Action' featuring AZ and Foxy Brown. Of course straight off the huge success of the original, Nas hooked up with the underrated Ty Fyffe for the remix of "One Mic." While solid, the remix lacks the emotion and intensity the original presented.
If it weren't for the lack of depth and Columbia's editing job, "From Illmatic To Stillmatic" would have been a nice pick up for Nas fans. Due to the pending circumstances, fans have already been turned away, since most have already had these tracks in their possession. It seems as if Columbia tried to pull a fast one to make some money, and unfortunately Nas fans have to pay the price.