Review: Nas — Time Is Illmatic

When it comes to clas­sics, Ill­mat­ic is always men­tioned! This is no dif­fer­ent to the the film Time Is Ill­mat­ic. I was hon­oured to watch Nas: Time Is Ill­mat­ic the Monday after its UK release. Twenty years after the release of one of the greatest albums Nas takes us into the cre­ation of Ill­mat­ic through stor­ies of his life, Queens Bridge, grow­ing up in the hip-hop cul­ture and the struggles of being a male grow­ing up in New York.

Time Is Ill­mat­ic inter­views his ‘Ill­mat­ic’ pro­du­cers Large Pro­fess­or, Pete Rock, Q‑Tip, L.E.S., and DJ Premi­er. There are also inter­views from musi­cians includ­ing Phar­rell Wil­li­ams and Alicia Keys, we see how Ill­mat­ic has changed and inspired oth­er artist into mak­ing clas­sics. The likes of Erykah Badu, Kendrick Lamar and J. Cole spoke dur­ing the doc­u­ment­ary explain­ing how the stor­ies Nas told via his raps, lyr­ics and imagery cre­ated the inspir­a­tion for them to cre­ate their art.

If you had nev­er listened to Ill­mat­ic before this doc­u­ment­ary would change your mind set. The album is por­trayed as more than just an album. Those 10 tracks are more than just four minute expres­sions, they told stor­ies of those who needed hope to thrive and turn their lives around. Watch­ing the doc­u­ment­ary you can tell the emo­tion which inspired Nas to become an artist and what suc­cess meant to him­self, his fam­ily and Queens Bridge.

Although Nas’s life pre-Ill­mat­ic is well doc­u­mented, there isn’t much about the dir­ect cre­ation of the album. But more on the life style of Nas as he grew up in Queens Bridge, New York as a young Afric­an Amer­ic­an being clogged in the “sys­tem” and the start of his legendary rap career.

If you’re a fan of rap, hip-hop, Nas or even great doc­u­ment­ar­ies this is a great edu­ca­tion­al tool to learn from. The doc­u­ment­ary was shot so grace­fully you nev­er wanted it to end. As a Nas fan, I wanted the doc­u­ment­ary to con­tin­ue and see the imme­di­ate effect of Ill­mat­ic after it was released. But with the leg­acy it has cre­ated, we may not have needed to see it in the doc­u­ment­ary.



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Digit­al Mar­ket­ing and You­Tube chan­nel man­ager who loves that good hip-hop.

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About Aaron3000

Digital Marketing and YouTube channel manager who loves that good hip-hop.

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