Nas' 'Illmatic' and Janet Jackson's 'Rhythm Nation 1814'
Janet Jackson’s ‘Rhythm Nation 1814,’ Nas’ ‘Illmatic’ to be inducted into Library of Congress
Nas is having quite a month. After winning his first Grammy Award for Best Rap Album for his 2020 album "King's Disease", earlier this month. The Library of Congress announced on Wednesday that Nas’s debut album, Illmatic, will be inducted into the National Recording Registry.
The Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden revealed that 25 albums out of 1,000 submissions have been deemed “worthy of preservation for all time based on their cultural, historical or aesthetic importance in the nation’s recorded sound heritage.”
Nas is joined by Janet Jackson’s “Rhythm Nation 1814,” which was released in 1989. The multi-platinum concept album spawned eight singles and sold more than 12 million copies worldwide.
“We wanted ‘Rhythm Nation’ to really communicate empowerment,” producer James “Jimmy Jam” Harris said of the album. “It was making an observation, but it was also a call to action. Janet’s purpose was to lead people and do it through music, which I think is the ultimate uniter of people.”
“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 for the past 143 years,” Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden said in a statement. “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.”
It adds, “While the album pulls no punches about the danger, struggle and grit of Queensbridge, Nas recalls it as a musically rich environment that produced many significant rappers and [says] he ‘felt proud being from Queensbridge…. [W]e were dressed fly in Ballys and the whole building was like a family.’”