Nas Documentary ‘Time Is Illmatic’ Is Acquired By Tribeca Film
One9: I think Illmatic's legacy will be, generations from now, people will always consider that album one of the, if not the, best hip-hop albums ever made. I think it will inspire generations. I think now you can listen to what J Cole and Kendrick Lamar say about Illmatic and how it affected them. I think it will have a long-lasting effect in the lineage of classic albums; I'll take it back to Marvin Gaye's What's Going On? to Miles Davis' Kind Of Blue to John Coltrane's A Love Supreme. It's something that spoke on many different levels and transcends space and time in many different generations.
EP: I think Illmatic is an album that gave a voice to the voiceless for a generation. It articulated the angst, the worldview, and everything that this generation was going through that a lot of people overlooked through the eyes of this young boy, Nas, who happened to be a poet. It was told through Nas' eyes, but it was about a generation of boys and men and people who were coming of age in America. And I think that's the legacy; there's compassion, there's people that are living in America that want to be heard, and there are people out there who are trying to make a way in the world, and this tells their story.
The film gives you a guide to making the album, not just musically, but also a social and political context of what was going on while he was making that album. So you'll understand why "One Love" was so important to him, because he's talking about all his friends who might not make it, but he did. There are many things we want people to take away from this film, but the one thing for sure that we want people to take away is that Illmatic was much bigger than just Nas and the great poet that he is; he was telling the story of a people, and everyone who wasn't as good at articulating that story, he did that for them. We wanted to honor the people that he's also rapping for and about on that album with this film.
Nas' Documentary Time Is Illmatic will soon be readily available. Tribeca Film announced today (May 13) that its North American branch had acquired film and expect its theatrical and VOD release to come this October. The release will also include special performances from Nas in select cities.
The documentary written by Erik Parker and directed by One9 premiered the opening night of the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival, outlining what went in to creating Nas' classic debut album Illmatic.
Receiving support from The Ford Foundation’s Just Films and Tribeca Film Institute’s Tribeca All Access program, Parker and One9 also produced the film with Anthony Saleh.
Nas is grateful for for how this love letter to the streets of NYC has been received. In a statement from Tribeca Film he said,"I want to thank Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal and the Tribeca Film family for all of the love & support they've given Time Is Illmatic. It is an honor to be in partnership with them. I feel there is a cultural kinship bonded by the city of New York."
Tribeca Enterprises CEO and co-founder is also proud of the documentary's success as well as it's creators.
"We began this journey with filmmakers One9 and Erik Parker when they conceived of the idea for the film in 2010 and supported them with funding through the Tribeca Film Institute to complete their vision," said Jane Rosenthal. "We were privileged to open the 2014 Festival with the world premiere of this powerful story of an artist's journey through the toughest of conditions and times."
One9 said he is confident in the partnership with Tribeca Film and believes it is the proper platform for this "American experience."