Today (April 19) marks the 23rd anniversary of the release of Nas’ classic debut album, Illmatic. The LP remains one of the most influential recordings in hip-hop and placed the Queens, N.Y. rhymer in the pantheon of great lyricists before and after him.

In celebration of Illmatic, we offer you a clip of Nas and brass band The Soul Rebels delivering a fiery performance of “Hate Me Now.” The song, which also features Diddy, appeared on Nas’ third album, I AM..., which is now 18 years old.

The song has some history itself. The accompanying video featured Nas and Diddy (then known as Puff Daddy) being crucified on the cross. Afterward, Diddy wasn't feeling the crucification scene and told Nas that he didn't want that to be included in the visual. So when it debuted on MTV in its original cut, Diddy attacked Nas' manager Steve Stoute with a champagne bottle. Ouch!

History aside, watch Nas rock the mic with The Soul Rebels who are gloriously blasting their triumphant horns.

Happy 23rd anniversary to Illmatic. It ain't hard to tell, Nasty Nas is still in your area and causing mass hysteria.

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