Stellar Nas Documentary ‘Time is Illmatic’ Celebrates Album’s 20th Anniversary
Over the past few decades Hip Hop has grown from an urban born culture to arguably the most dominant force on the planet. Standing as one of the leaders and most consistent symbols of the creativity of the art form is Queensbridge born MC Nasir Jones. His debut project Illmatic ranks as one of the most influential and critically acclaimed bodies’ of work in the history of Hip Hop. Originally released in April of 1994, Illmatic celebrates its 20th anniversary with Illmatic XX, the special re-release of the original album and the new introspective documentary Time is Illmatic.
While many have told the rags to riches tale of beating the odds of inner city crime and financial hardships, Time is Illmatic dives deeper into the tale of Nas’ early career. Told through not only his words but through the perspective of those around him, we get a detailed view of the world Nas existed in, the elements that shaped the creative lyrics of his work and the hellish reality of the environment he was trying to escape. Time is Illmatic perfectly balances the Hip Hop voices of fellow artists, industry vets,and producers who share their initial reactions to the young MC with the words of his family and friends who know him like no one else does.
“Who’s the best MC Biggie, Nas or Jay-Z?” That question has been recited countless times in the discussion of NY Hip Hop supremacy. Of the 3, Nas has always been viewed as the artist. He wasn’t the Hustler or the Don. He never spoke of not needing to write his rhymes down. Nasir Jones took words from all walks of life and crafted complex, detailed pictures that hit on many levels that were unheard of at the time. As the official opening film of New York’s Tribeca Film Festival Time is Illmatic is an amazing coming of age tale that will not only bring you up through Nas’ rise to Icon status but will take you back as a Hip Hop fan to the points in your youth when you too first discovered the rapper Nas. 20 years later, he’s still Nasty….he is still Illmatic.
If you enjoyed this please make sure you check Nas’ recent sit down at Georgetown University.