With the 20th year anniversary of the seminal Hip Hop record Illamtic by Nas fast approaching, a new film Time Is Illmatic will help mark this monumental event. The documentary is directed by artist One9 and written by music journalist Erik Parker. The movie itself is a twenty year journey from the making of one of Hip Hop’s finest debuts (by a 20 year old to boot), and the struggles Nas faced throughout his career. With interviews about his talented family ( Jazz musician father Olu Dara, his younger brother Jabari “Jungle” Fret), and his influences, his back up against the wall odds he faced to get Illmatic out on a major label, and everything that has spawned from this great release, Time Is Illmatic is a film for beat junkies and Golden Age fans alike. There is and always will be only one Nas. His flow and lyricism, even as a young man, caught the ear of producers like Large Professor, DJ Premier, Pete Rock, and Q-Tip, who helped define the East Coast Hip Hop sound of the 90’s with this record. The samples, the lyrics, the beats. All rounded out by one Nasir Jones and his rhymestyle and flow. The iconic cover, shot by Danny Clinch (and supposedly inspired by the 1974 Jazz album by Howard Hanger Trio’s A Child Is Born), is immediately recognized as a classic, even today.
“I gave you what the streets felt like, what it sounded like, tasted like all in that album ….and I tried to capture it like no one else could”-Nas
While the ebb and flow of the career of Nas has not always been high tide and green grass, there is no doubt this record influenced many as well as changing the face of Hip Hop. He is a legend, has had a colorful and successful career, and is one of the best there ever was. Highly anticipate, this film has a story to tell, and the story of Illmatic finally gets revealed by the artist. Don’t miss this one, it’s all time. The film will have its world premiere on April 16th at the Beacon Theater in NYC (where else).