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Mark Fedorov
Mark Fedorov

Born to Use Mics: How a Book Transformed Nas's Illmatic into a Cultural Phenomenon


Born to Use Mics: Reading Nas's Illmatic book pdf file




If you are a fan of hip-hop music, you probably know about Nas's Illmatic, one of the most acclaimed albums of all time. But do you know about Born to Use Mics, a book that analyzes Illmatic from various perspectives? In this article, we will tell you what Born to Use Mics is, why you should read it, how you can read it, and what you can learn from it. By the end of this article, you will have a deeper understanding and appreciation of Nas's masterpiece.




BorntoUseMicsReadingNassIllmaticbookspdffile


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What is Illmatic?




Illmatic is the debut album by Nas, a rapper from Queensbridge, New York. It was released in 1994 by Columbia Records and received critical acclaim for its lyrical complexity, storytelling, production, and social commentary. Illmatic is widely considered as one of the best hip-hop albums ever made, and has influenced many artists across genres. Some of the songs from Illmatic are N.Y. State of Mind, Life's a Bitch, The World Is Yours, Halftime, Memory Lane (Sittin' in da Park), One Love, One Time 4 Your Mind, Represent, and It Ain't Hard to Tell.


What is Born to Use Mics?




Born to Use Mics is a book that was published in 2009 by Basic Civitas Books. It is edited by Michael Eric Dyson and Sohail Daulatzai, and features essays by various scholars, writers, and critics who examine Illmatic from different angles. Each chapter of the book focuses on one song from Illmatic and explores its themes, context, style, and significance. Born to Use Mics is not only a tribute to Nas's artistry, but also a reflection on the social, cultural, and political issues that shaped his generation.


Why read Born to Use Mics?




Reading Born to Use Mics will enrich your experience of listening to Illmatic, as you will discover new layers of meaning, symbolism, and relevance in each song. You will also gain a broader perspective on the history, culture, and politics of hip-hop, as well as the challenges and opportunities faced by young black men in America. Reading Born to Use Mics will make you appreciate the genius of Nas and his contribution to the art form of rap.


How to read Born to Use Mics?




One way to read Born to Use Mics is to access the book pdf file online. You can find it on various websites that offer free or paid downloads of ebooks. However, before you download the book pdf file, make sure that you are using a reliable and legal source, and that you have the permission of the publisher or the author. Alternatively, you can buy the book in print or digital format from online or offline bookstores.


Another way to read Born to Use Mics is to listen to the audiobook version, which is narrated by Michael Eric Dyson himself. You can find the audiobook on platforms like Audible, Spotify, or YouTube. Listening to the audiobook will give you a more immersive and dynamic experience of the book, as you will hear the voice and tone of the editor and the excerpts from Illmatic.


Whichever way you choose to read Born to Use Mics, we recommend that you follow these tips:


  • Listen to Illmatic before and after reading the book, so that you can compare and contrast your impressions and insights.



  • Read the book in order, from chapter 1 to chapter 10, as each chapter builds on the previous one and follows the sequence of Illmatic.



  • Take notes of the main points, quotes, and references from each chapter, so that you can review and remember them later.



  • Discuss the book with other readers, friends, or fans of Nas and hip-hop, so that you can share your opinions and learn from others.



What are the main insights from Born to Use Mics?




Here are some of the key points from each chapter of Born to Use Mics:


Chapter 1: The Genesis




This chapter traces the origins of Nas and his influences, such as his father Olu Dara, a jazz musician; his mother Ann Jones, a postal worker; his brother Jabari, aka Jungle; his neighborhood Queensbridge; his mentors MC Shan and Large Professor; and his peers AZ, Cormega, and others. The chapter also examines how Nas developed his lyrical skills, his artistic vision, and his rap persona.


Chapter 2: N.Y. State of Mind




This chapter analyzes how Nas depicts New York City and its culture in Illmatic, especially the harsh realities of urban life, violence, poverty, drugs, racism, and corruption. The chapter also explores how Nas uses metaphors, imagery, wordplay, and storytelling to create a vivid portrait of his city and its people.


Chapter 3: Life's a Bitch




This chapter discusses the themes of mortality and legacy in Illmatic, especially how Nas confronts the uncertainty and fragility of life, the inevitability of death, and the desire to leave a mark on the world. The chapter also highlights how Nas collaborates with AZ on this song, and how they complement each other's styles and perspectives.


Chapter 4: The World Is Yours




This chapter examines the concept of agency and empowerment in Illmatic, especially how Nas asserts his right to pursue his dreams, goals, and aspirations, despite the obstacles and limitations imposed by society. The chapter also considers how Nas draws inspiration from sources like Scarface, Malcolm X, Rakim, and others.


Chapter 5: Halftime




This chapter explores the role of sports and competition in Illmatic, especially how Nas uses sports metaphors and references to express his confidence, skill, and dominance in rap. The chapter also compares how Nas approaches rap as a game, a sport, and a war.


Chapter 6: Memory Lane (Sittin' in da Park)




This chapter investigates the use of memory and nostalgia in Illmatic, especially how Nas recalls his past experiences, relationships, and emotions in relation to his present situation. The chapter also evaluates how Nas balances nostalgia with realism, and how he uses memory as a source of identity, wisdom, and inspiration.


Chapter 7: One Love




This chapter evaluates the expression of love and loyalty in Illmatic, especially how Nas communicates with his friends who are incarcerated or deceased through letters. The chapter also assesses how Nas shows empathy, Chapter 7: One Love




This chapter evaluates the expression of love and loyalty in Illmatic, especially how Nas communicates with his friends who are incarcerated or deceased through letters. The chapter also assesses how Nas shows empathy, compassion, and solidarity with his friends, and how he advises them to cope with their situations.


Chapter 8: One Time 4 Your Mind




This chapter explores the exploration of identity and creativity in Illmatic, especially how Nas reveals his personal side, his hobbies, his preferences, and his quirks. The chapter also appreciates how Nas showcases his versatility, his humor, and his imagination in this song.


Chapter 9: Represent




This chapter analyzes the assertion of authenticity and respect in Illmatic, especially how Nas represents himself, his crew, his neighborhood, his city, and his culture. The chapter also investigates how Nas challenges the stereotypes and misconceptions about him and his community, and how he demands recognition and respect from his peers and critics.


Chapter 10: It Ain't Hard to Tell




This chapter demonstrates the demonstration of skill and mastery in Illmatic, especially how Nas displays his technical prowess, his lyrical finesse, his musical taste, and his cultural knowledge. The chapter also celebrates how Nas delivers a powerful and memorable closing statement for his album, and how he proves that he is one of the best rappers of all time.


Conclusion




Born to Use Mics is a book that offers a comprehensive and insightful analysis of Nas's Illmatic, one of the greatest hip-hop albums ever made. By reading this book, you will learn more about the context, the content, and the impact of Illmatic, and you will appreciate the genius of Nas and his contribution to rap. Whether you are a fan of Nas or not, you will find something valuable and interesting in this book. So don't hesitate to read Born to Use Mics: Reading Nas's Illmatic book pdf file today!


FAQs




  • Who is Nas?



Nas is a rapper from Queensbridge, New York. He is widely regarded as one of the most influential and skilled rappers of all time. He has released 13 studio albums, including Illmatic (1994), It Was Written (1996), Stillmatic (2001), God's Son (2002), Life Is Good (2012), and King's Disease (2020). He has won four Grammy Awards, two BET Awards, two MTV Video Music Awards, and many other accolades.


  • What is Illmatic?



Illmatic is the debut album by Nas. It was released in 1994 by Columbia Records and received critical acclaim for its lyrical complexity, storytelling, production, and social commentary. Illmatic is widely considered as one of the best hip-hop albums ever made, and has influenced many artists across genres. Some of the songs from Illmatic are N.Y. State of Mind, Life's a Bitch, The World Is Yours, Halftime, Memory Lane (Sittin' in da Park), One Love, One Time 4 Your Mind, Represent, and It Ain't Hard to Tell.


  • What is Born to Use Mics?



Born to Use Mics is a book that was published in 2009 by Basic Civitas Books. It is edited by Michael Eric Dyson and Sohail Daulatzai, and features essays by various scholars, writers, and critics who examine Illmatic from different angles. Each chapter of the book focuses on one song from Illmatic and explores its themes, context, style, and significance. Born to Use Mics is not only a tribute to Nas's artistry, but also a reflection on the social, cultural, and political issues that shaped his generation.


  • How can I read Born to Use Mics?



You can read Born to Use Mics by accessing the book pdf file online. You can find it on various websites that offer free or paid downloads of ebooks. However, before you download the book pdf file, make sure that you are using a reliable and legal source, and that you have the permission of the publisher or the author. Alternatively, you can buy the book in print or digital format from online or offline bookstores.


  • Why should I read Born to Use Mics?



You should read Born to Use Mics because it will enrich your experience of listening to Illmatic, as you will discover new layers of meaning, symbolism, and relevance in each song. You will also gain a broader perspective on the history, culture, and politics of hip-hop, as well as the challenges and opportunities faced by young black men in America. Reading Born to Use Mics will make you appreciate the genius of Nas and his contribution to the art form of rap.


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