Twenty years ago, Nasir Jones rechristened himself Nas and released Illmatic, an impeccable debut and one of the most important albums in hip-hop history. This documentary, directed by One9, zeroes in on how the absence of the rapper’s father (jazz trumpeter Olu Dara) informed his development as a sharp-eyed observer, and deepens the mythology that made Illmatic so vivid. Like Nas’ spotty career, the doc loses steam once it gets to the release of Illmatic, but as both an origin story about a great artist and a distillation of ’80s urban blight, it’s as breathless and real as any street-corner rhyme. (Also on iTunes and VOD) B+
NAS: TIME IS ILLMATIC Nas (Danny Clinch)
Genre: Documentary; Starring: Nas; Release Date Limited: 10/01/2014; Runtime (in minutes): 74
Posted October 3 2014 — 12:00 AM EDT
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