Following his iconic debut album, Illmatic, Nas took his next three projects in a more mainstream direction. The decision put him under heavy scrutiny and even brought upon JAY-Z‘s infamous 2001 diss track, “Takeover.”
Nas didn’t take long to respond to both his critics and JAY, however, dropping his fifth studio album Stillmatic on Dec. 18, 2001. The project, which is a nod to Illmatic, is widely considered as Nas’ comeback album. It also featured the track “Ether,” his epic response to Jigga.
Stillmatic peaked at No. 5 on the Billboard 200 and was certified platinum in January 2002. It featured production from the likes of DJ Premier and Large Professor and included the singles “Got Ur Self a Gun,” “One Mic,” and “Rule” featuring Amerie.
To honor its 16-year anniversary, Power 106 has examined some of the album’s classic samples on its Wax Only series.
Watch it above.