On April 16, "Time Is Illmatic," opened the thirteenth edition of the Tribeca Film Festival. The iconic Beacon Theatre was the perfect location for guests to enjoy this special evening. Before the screening, we attended a private reception at Beacon Bar hosted by Hennessy. Guests enjoyed mini sliders, fried shrimp and vegetable polenta. After a fabulous industry mixer, everyone headed next door into the Beacon Theater. The event was special. It was a hip hop moment, a music moment and a cinema moment.
Robert De Niro and Jane Rosenthal introduced the film and directors One9 and Erik Parker who said a few words. Then the screening began. The film takes you a journey through Nas' life. It starts with his parents' roots. His father father is Jazz musician Olu Dara and then it chronicles Nas' years in the Queensbridge projects, which are a very important part of who he is today. Then we learn about how he gets signed and we learn the story of how he came to record one of the most iconic albums in hip hop: "Illmatic."
After the screening it was time for the highly anticipated concert. Old photos of Nas flashed on the screen, there was a visual of the word "Illmatic" floating over moving train cars. Alicia Keys came out and sang an intro. Nas came out in a black beanie, winter coat, timberland boots and he was carrying a Hennessy bottle. He kicked off the show with "N.Y. State of Mind." which was produced by DJ Premier who was on the turntables. After that song, he shouted out Large Professor who was in attendance, Fab Five Freddy and MC Serch.
Nas also took some time to thank his father. He joked that his father never attends anything, so it was extra special to have him in the building. He also declared, "I want to thank Robert de Niro, he plays me in all of his movies."
Next up Nas performed "Whose World Is This" and "Half-Time," "Memory Lane (Sittin' in da Park)," "One Time 4 Your Mind," and "Represent." He brought his brother and adorable nephews on stage. He told them to stay in school and be good.
Nas closed the show saying he is very grateful for Legacy reissuing "Illmatic" for its 20th anniversary. He thanked filmmakers One9 and Eric Parker for making this film. He said he initially wasn't going to do it, but they had so much passion he was blown away. He also thanked his father for encouraging him to make music.
After the energizing show, guests headed to the after-party at Providence, sponsored by Hennessy V.S. and Beats Music. Guests in attendance included Nas, Alicia Keys, Festival co-founders Jane Rosenthal and Robert De Niro, Wale, Anthony Mackie, Jemima Kirke, Michael Rappaport, and Nate Parker.