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Tribeca to Open with Hip-Hop Doc 'Time Is Illmatic,' Followed by Nas Performance

Photo of Beth Hanna By Beth Hanna | Thompson on Hollywood February 19, 2014 at 11:58AM

The Tribeca Film Festival has revealed that the world premiere of doc “Time is Illmatic” will open the 2014 edition of the fest. It follows the trajectory of rapper Nas’ 1994 debut album, “Illmatic”-- considered one of the most revolutionary albums in hip-hop history.
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"Time Is Illmatic."
"Time Is Illmatic."

The Tribeca Film Festival has revealed that the world premiere of doc “Time is Illmatic” will open the 2014 edition of the fest. It follows the trajectory of rapper Nas’ 1994 debut album, “Illmatic”-- considered one of the most revolutionary albums in hip-hop history.

The premiere is set to take place on Wednesday, April 16. It will be followed by a special musical performance where Nas will perform the album from front to back.

Here’s the official synopsis of the film, which is helmed by multimedia artist One9:

"Time Is Illmatic" traces Nas’s influences and the insurmountable odds he faced in creating the greatest work of music from hip-hop’s second golden era. The film tracks the musical legacy of the Jones family -- handed down to Nas from his jazz musician father, Olu Dara, the support of his Queensbridge neighborhood crew, and the loyalty of his younger brother Jabari “Jungle” Fret. Twenty years after its release, Illmatic is widely recognized as a hip-hop benchmark that encapsulates the sociopolitical outlook, enduring spirit, and collective angst of a generation of young men searching for their voice in America.

Tribeca runs through April 27.

This article is related to: Festivals, Tribeca Film Festival, Documentary, Documentaries


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Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.