In this issue, Nas gives some insight into more than just his past. Since the release of Illmatic, which as been referred to by our own Dustin Chapman as “the bible of hip hip”, a lot has gone on in the music world, and Nas has been there for all of it. Sometimes, he has been right in the center of it.
Rolling Stone delivered a fantastic piece with the legendary wordsmith. Read the whole article here, but we’ll also give you a small piece.
“It gives me a reference piece to look at myself and for me to analyze my life and what I’ve come from; my accomplishments; my dreams,” Nas tells Rolling Stone about his acclaimed debut. Today, the rapper releases Illmatic XX, featuring a remastered version of the album alongside an extra disc of rarities, demos, remixes and live performances. A tour is in the works where he’ll perform the album front-to-back, and the upcoming feature-length documentary Time Is Illmatic, detailing the album’s history and legacy, will open the Tribeca Film Festival. The rapper is also working on the pilot for Street Dreams, his upcoming autobiographical drama for Xbox.
Nas is also channeling this reflective period for a planned new album, which he’s started recording and hopes to release by the end of the year. “I have not been inspired to record until riding this Illmatic parade,” he says. “I didn’t know that this would inspire me, but this time has made me reflect and made me aware of where I am today. I think I could have put together a good new album without this 20-year anniversary, but I don’t think it would have nowhere near the depth that I think it’s going to have now.”
Here’s one classic track from another one of Nas’ classic albums, It Was Written: