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Nas recently told Hip-Hop Wired he never listens to Illmatic anymore but there is a good chance he is about to break that habit. This upcoming April will mark the classic album’s 20th anniversary and the veteran MC is slated to perform the entire LP in its entirety not only at Coachella but during the commemorative tour as well.

If that doesn’t whet your Illmatic appetite, there is also a 20th anniversary double disc re-release titled Illmatic XX that will feature 10 unreleased and remixed tracks as well as an overall digital remastered sound.

But wait, there’s more.

Director One9 and writer Erik Parker have been working diligently on Time is Illmatic, a new documentary that recaptures the ambiance that surrounded the creation of Nas’ debut.

Via the official site:

Time Is Illmatic is a feature length documentary film that delves deep into the making of Nas’ 1994 debut album, Illmatic, and the social conditions that influenced its creation.

Twenty years after its release, Illmatic has become a hip-hop benchmark that encapsulates the socio-political outlook, enduring spirit, and collective angst of a generation of young black men searching for their voice in America.

Time is Illmatic tracks the musical legacy of the Jones family, handed down to Nas from his jazz musician father, Olu Dara. It also examines the social conditions and environmental influences that contributed to Nas’ worldview.

Along the way, Time Is Illmatic shows how Nas—with the support of his Queensbridge neighborhood crew, the loyalty of his younger brother Jabari “Jungle” Fret, and sacrifices of his mother, Ann Jones—overcame insurmountable odds to create the greatest work of music from hip-hop’s second golden era.

The album is widely considered to be the greatest Hip-Hop album of all-time and it appears to be celebrating its 20th birthday in grandiose fashion.

Hit the flip for the tracklist and official artwork of Illmatic XX and the nostalgic Stretch Armstrong and Bobbito Show “Freestyle.”


Photo: Petrushka Bazin Larsen

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