Illmatic: Where Are They Now?

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  • Q-Tip
  • Large Professor
  • Aimee Macauley
  • Pete Rock
  • Nas
  • Nas
  • AZ
  • DJ Premier
  • Olu Dara
  • L.E.S.
  • MC Serch

Aimee Macauley

The original, unreleased Illmatic artwork reportedly featured Nas holding Jesus Christ in a headlock. Thankfully, instead of that needlessly provocative image, art director Aimee Macauley crafted the iconic, unforgettable album cover featuring a photo of a young Nas superimposed over a picture of his native Queensbridge housing project. The image perfectly encapsulated the vivid, first-person street narratives of the album. Macauley has continued to work as an acclaimed designer, with Will Smith, the Jonas Brothers, Katy Perry and more.

(Photo: Courtesy

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