Watch Nas Perform “Illmatic” Backed By The National Symphony Orchestra
Nas celebrated the 20th anniversary of his classic debut album Illmatic back in 2014 with a live performance at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., accompanied by the National Symphony Orchestra. Although that was more than three years ago, the full concert is finally available to watch via PBS’ Great Performances series.
“It’s crazy, you know, I wrote this in the projects in New York City. Here we are in the capital of America, Washington, DC, and, you know, a bunch of white people with strings and all that, playing this album, and they feeling it,” Nas said about the performance in a trailer for the concert film.
The full film, which runs an hour in length, rehashes Nas’ upbringing and rise to fame, as well as rehearsals for the orchestra-backed performance. It also features Nas performing the entirety of his 39-minute, 10-track album. The project was first released in 1994 and spawned classic rap cuts like “N.Y. State of Mind,” “The World is Yours,” and “It Ain’t Hard to Tell.” Featuring a wide range of producers, Illmatic is also credited with ushering in a new era in rap music by changing the relationship between producers and MCs. Illmatic went Platinum in 2001.
Taken from genius.com