Listen to Nas Discuss the Making of Illmatic with Zane Lowe
Nas and Zane Lowe have a conversation discussing the making of his classic debut record, Illmatic.
As the 20th anniversary of Illmatic approaches, Nas recalls the making of the album that would change hip hop and go on to impact his generation and many more to come. In an intimate interview with BBC Radio’s Zane Lowe, Nas goes in to detail describing the social, cultural, and political factors that inspired him to make the classic album. Discussing his childhood and his experiences growing up in the inner city, Nas describes his world in detail, writing rhymes in his notebook, witnessing the first black mayor of New York City, and the increase of drugs, guns, and crime in his hometown. Nas goes further to explain the pressure he faced as an emcee as he strived to create a body of work that his peers and those who looked up to and admired in hip hop culture at the time would respect. Listen to the interview and pre-order the special anniversary edition of Illmatic XX, available April 15th.
Watch Nas Perform “One Love” on The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon
Nas makes an appearance on The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon and performs “One Love” from the 1994 album, Illmatic.
Backed by The Roots and original producer from the Illmatic, Q-Tip, Nas took a trip down memory lane performing hits the classic and controversial track “One Love” ’last night on The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon. The two continued their visit to 1994 performing “The World Is Yours”, another classic track from 1994’s Illmatic. Nas will be releasing the Illmatic XX album on April 14th, just four days before Illmatic turns 20. The double-disc edition will include a remastered version of the original album, rare remixes, an unreleased song (“I’m a Villain”), and a never-before-heard freestyle on The Stretch Armstrong and Bobbito Show from 1993. The album is available for pre-order on iTunes.
Last Friday, Nas made his HBO debut appearing on the weekly talk show Real Time With Bill Maher. Joining the esteemed discussion panel that featured journalist Carrie Sheffield, MSNBC’s television host Alex Wagner and host Bill Maher, the Queensbridge rapper briefly spoke on his timeless debut album, Illmatic, before sharing his views on the social problems that plague American culture. Speaking in-depth, Nas addresses the serious problems of gun violence in impoverished neighborhoods across America and the noticeable influx of guns made available to the youth. Continuing the discussion, Nas discusses a number of topics including DeSean Jackson being released by the Philadelphia Eagles for his alleged gang ties, the recent Fort Hood shooting, the plight of inner-city living, Black Republicans and more.
The Lovebox Festival has announced their full lineup for their famed three-day festival, taking place in Victoria Park in Hackney, London. In celebration of the 20th anniversary of Illmatic, Nas will take the stage to perform the album in it’s entirety. The show will be Nas’ only UK Illmatic performance. Other performers scheduled to perform include MIA, The Horrors, A$AP Rocky, Katy B, Hercules & Love Affair, and more. Nas is releasing Illmatic XX as a special 20th Anniversary Edition on April 15. Tickets for the event are on sale now.
As an extension of the Kennedy Center’s One Mic: Hip Hop Culture Worldwide Festival taking place in Washington, D.C., Georgetown University hosted a “A Conversation with Nas and Michael Eric Dyson.” The sold out event, which took place March 27th was opened by legendary hip hop producer and academic scholar 9th Wonder and featured a musical set of Nas classics. Hosted in the Nation’s Capitol, Nas and Dyson embarked on a serious and honest discussion on hip hop and it’s current state, the 20th anniversary of Illmatic, as well as the legendary artist’s overall contribution and influence on American culture. Moderated by James Peterson, Director of African Studies and Associate Professor of English at Lehigh University, the 90 minute addressed serious social issues with Nas discussing members of the hip hop culture not taking a greater responsibility to rap about topics that touch on social justice issues, the future of the youth and the social issues that plague the development of minorities in this country. The two discuss their shared history of experiences with loved ones in the prison system, as well as how they came to know each other personally through attending previous discussions panels on hip hop and social issues. Check out the video now.