The Tribeca Film Festival is getting “Illmatic,” opening its annual springtime confab with “Time Is Illmatic,” a look at the influence of the classic Nas album 20 years after its release.
Directed by artist One9 and written by Erik Parker, the film “traces Nas’s influences and the insurmountable odds he faced in creating the greatest work of music from hip-hop’s second golden era,” Tribeca organizers said in a statement.
Nas said that he and other filmmakers “wanted this film to represent the real, from the storyline all the way down to the directors and producers.”
The rapper will perform the entire album after the world-premiere screening on April 16. Tribeca organizers said.
"Illmatic" was a seminal album in the history of hip-hop when it came out in 1994. With tracks such as "Halftime" and "The World Is Yours," the record lays bare issues of violence and poverty, often drawn from its artist's native hardscrabble Queens, N.Y., neighborhood. It quickly became a critical and eventually a commercial favorite, going platinum seven years later. It is considered a landmark achievement in East Coast hip-hop.
Tribeca has sometimes opened with Hollywood films such as “The Five-Year Engagement” and “Baby Mama” but also kicked off with music-themed films, including last year’s debut, The National doc “Mistaken For Strangers.”
Tribeca will announce its full slate in early March. The festival runs April 16-27 in New York.