Illmatic, Nas’s groundbreaking rap album, is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. Director One9’s new documentary Nas: Time is Illmatic seeks to tell the story of the creation of the album, and it just got a new trailer. Watch here:
As you can see from the trailer, the film looks back at the creation of Illmatic with a combination of archival footage and modern interviews, with cameos from stars like Alicia Keys and Pharrell Williams. The filmmakers also seem keen on exploring the context in which Illmatic was produced, namely the culture of New York City in 1994. The video’s description explains:
Returning to his childhood home in Queensbridge, Nas 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 20. Featuring interviews with his Illmatic producers Large Professor, Pete Rock, Q-Tip, L.E.S., and DJ Premier and musical peers including Pharrell Williams and Alicia Keys, NAS: TIME IS ILLMATIC is a thrilling account of Nas’s evolution from a young street poet to a visionary MC.
The film debuted at Tribeca Film Festival in April and is set to hit theaters, home video, and video-on-demand services in October.