Illmatic is set to be enshrined into the Library of Congress.
It was announced on Wednesday, March 24, that the debut album from Nas will be inducted into the National Recording Registry. Illmatic not only announced Nas as a force in Hip-Hop, it also helped reshape the sound and feel of the genre, particularly East Coast Hip-Hop, in the 1990s.
Illmatic is one of 25 audio recordings set to be preserved as picked by the Librarian of Congress, Carla Hayden. Among the picks are Janet Jackson’s Rhythm Nation 1814, “When the Saints Go Marching In” by Louis Armstrong, Celebrate! by Kool & Th Gang, Kermit the Frog’s “The Rainbow Connection,” and other recordings.
“The National Recording Registry will preserve our history through these vibrant recordings of music and voices that have reflected our humanity and shaped our culture from the past 143 years,” Hayden said when announcing the newest inductees. “We received about 900 public nominations this year for recordings to add to the registry, and we welcome the public’s input as the Library of Congress and its partners preserve the diverse sounds of history and culture.”
With these most recent recordings selected, the number of audio pieces inducted into the National Recording Registry rises to 575. There are almost 3 million items preserved in the library’s recorded sound collection.