Nas: Time is Illmatic premiered at the historic Charles H. Wright Museum on Oct. 9. The project debuted at the Tribeca Film Festival to critical success. Even award-winning actor Robert De Niro sang the much anticipated documentary’s praises along with scores of other movie-goers. The film examines Nas’ childhood in Queensbridge, NY and the factors that contributed to his creative process. His influences include his family and friends who kept him on track and encouraged him to share his stories with the world, as only Nas can.
Twenty years after the release of Nas’s groundbreaking debut album Illmatic, Nas: Time Is Illmatic, shares stories of his upbringing, his influences — from the music of his jazz musician father Olu Dara to the burgeoning hip-hop scene in New York City — and the obstacles he faced before his major label signing at age 19.
Featuring interviews with Illmatic producers; Large Professor, Pete Rock, Q-Tip, L.E.S., and DJ Premier, as well as musical peers Pharrell Williams and Alicia Keys, Nas: Time Is Illmatic is a thrilling account of Nas’ evolution from a young street poet to a visionary MC.
Creator’s One9 and Erik Parker started the project back in 2004, not realizing it would be ten years in the making. Nas: Time is Illmatic started as two young kids with a vision of sharing how the music of the album Illmatic impacted their lives as well as their community. ” We really didn’t start with Nas.It was just us with a passion and an idea to tell the story of Illmatic. Nas came on board after he realized we were really serious,” says Parker. One9 was a grafitti artist applying his craft on the walls of buildings and bridges in New York. The reformed grafitti artist credits hip-hop with giving him his voice and an alternative creative outlet. “This film is about the people who grew up in hip-hop and the impact its left today,” says One9.
Following the premiere, a celebrity panel which included; Yo-Yo, Nas: Time Is Illmatic creators Erik Parker and One9, Detorit’s poetress Jessica Care Moore (who provided the opening and closing cuts on the album Nastradamus), a variety of hip-hop writers and more. Nas: Time Is Illmatic will have you reminiscing about where and what you were doing when you first heard “The World is Yours” or “One Love.” You’ll laugh, take pride in the hip-hop culture, dance in your seat and maybe even shed a tear or two. However you leave this film, it is well worth the trip.