Nas’ 1994 debut album, Illmatic, is a gift that keeps on giving.
The classic album, now over two decades old, has long been a fan favorite, with the Queens MC recently teaming up with the National Symphony Orchestra for a special live rendition. The best part? The filmed performance will be airing on Feb. 2 on PBS, as part of the “Great Performances” series.
The announcement arrives today (Jan. 12) by way of a two-minute trailer which features scenes from the veteran rapper’s roots in Queensbridge and later cuts to the man himself running through the album’s iconic tracklisting, all while being backed by the reputed orchestra.
“It’s crazy, you know, I wrote this in the projects in New York City,” Nas can be heard saying in the trailer. “Here we are in the capitol of America, Washington, D.C., and, you know, a bunch of white people with strings and all that, playing this album, and they’re feeling it.”
With the Mass Appeal-produced documentary juxtaposing archive footage from throughout Nas’ career with snippets from the concert performance, which was filmed at the Kennedy Center, this is certainly a must-watch for all hip-hop fans.
“I hope you can look through the dream with me and see the journey I took to be on the stage with an orchestra,” Nas adds. “I knew it was bigger than what was just on the record. And it was like ‘This is what it’s about.”
Take a look for the trailer for the upcoming concert special, below.
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