Nas will forever live on by way of his critically-acclaimed debut album Illmatic, and a stirring performance never before seen will be made available to the masses. Next month, PBS’ THIRTEEN series will unveil the concert film Great Performances – Nas Live From the Kennedy Center: Classical Hip-Hop with legendary Queensbridge rapper performing the influential album with a full orchestra behind him.

The film is a recording of a performance Nas staged alongside the National Symphony Orchestra back in May 2014, celebrating the 20th anniversary of Illmatic. In a trailer for the concert film, Nas expresses both amazement and gratitude for one of top moments in his storied and still ongoing career.

“It’s crazy, you know, I wrote this in the projects in New York City. Here we are in the capital of America, Washington, DC, and, you know, a bunch of white people with strings and all that, playing this album, and they [sic] feeling it,” says Nas in a quick moment ahead of the concert.

Running through tracks like “It Ain’t Hard To Tell,” “The World Is Yours,” and “Memory Lane,” the artist born Nasir Jones worked in conjunction with National Symphony Orchestra Principal Pops Conductor Steven Reineke to shape Illmatic to classical standards.

The Great Performances – Nas Live From the Kennedy Center: Classical Hip-Hop film airs on Friday, February 2 at 9 p.m. on PBS. Learn more here.

Watch the trailer below.

Photo: A. Chen/Mass Appeal

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