Not much needs to be said about Nas’ 1994 debut, except that it’s one of the greatest hip hop records ever made. Illmatic is so good, in fact, that even the Queens wordsmith himself has struggled to replicate its sublimity.
That’s why it’s welcome news that Nas — along with AZ, Pete Rock, and Illmatic collaborator DJ Premier — will perform the album in its entirety at this weekend’s Rock the Bells Festival kickoff in Los Angeles. In the above video, Nasty Nas takes a moment to talk about the album and, in general, life in Queens.
In addition to Nas, The Rock The Bells Festival Series will feature up-and-coming hip hop artists as well as other seminal artists performing their classic albums, including Ms. Lauryn Hill, Erykah Badu, and Common.
Rock the Bells Festival
08/20 – Los Angeles, CA – San Manuel Amphitheater
08/27 – San Francisco, CA – Shoreline Amphitheatre
09/03 – New York, NY – Governor’s Island
09/10 – Boston, MA – Comcast Center