For those who don’t know me, I group in the hip-hop era of A Tribe Called Quest, Gang Starr, Pharcyde and De La Soul. The smoothed out sound of east coast rap carried me through my childhood, teenage years, and even today it’s what elevates me each and every day. And an integral part of that unforgettable sound of was Nas’ classic debut album, ‘Illmatic’, released incredibly twenty years ago. As part of the anniversary celebration the documentary Nas: Time is Illmatic is making its way into multiple platforms and the first trailer looks like a must watch for hip-hop heads.
Featuring the major players in the rap game like DJ Premier, Q-Tip, Pete Rock, and Main Source’s Large Professor, the film looks back at Nas’ influential career, his beginnings as “Nasty” Nas with the hit single “Halftime”, and of course the impact of ‘Illmatic’ when it dropped in ’94. At that point Rakim was probably the most sampled rapper ever but over the last twenty years that has definitely been Nas, and it’s fitting since the two have been compared to one another often. Between this and the amazing Beats, Rhymes, & Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest we’re in the midst of a great period for hip-hop docs. Let’s hope it continues.
Producer and artist One9 makes his directorial debut on Nas: Time is Illmatic, which opens in theaters and VOD on October 1st, accompanied by a concert tour.