Time Is Illmatic (2014)




Hip Hop and its artists are present in all genres of moving images. There are acclaimed biopics about Notorious B.I.G., 50 Cent, N.W.A and Eminem. Xzibit, Ice-T and Cardi B made it to television. From B-Pictures like Urban Menace to comedies like Friday, Don’t Be A Menace and How High to Oscar winning Training Day, the music and lifestyle is pervasive.

Even though many documentaries circulate, there are still riddles to be solved. In this one, Nas tells about his rise from Queensbridge, New York. The city, where Rap started with likes of Grandmaster Flash, Kurtis Blow and Slick Rick and many more, he pays his respect to. As Pharrell, Swizz Beatz, Busta Rhymes and Alicia Keys do in the beginning to Nas himself and “Illmatic“.

The whole discography includes loads of big tracks like “One Mic”, “If I Ruled The World”, “Got Yourself A Gun”, “Hate Me Now”, “I Can”, “Made You Look” and “Hip Hop Is Dead”. But the story focuses on Nas’ early life and first record. Early music education he and his brother receive from their father until he leaves the family. Their mother gave everything raising them what made them feel loved.

Still when their dad told them they are smarter then their teachers and the school is close to destroying them and they don’t care, the kids leave school. One teacher remembers, that she could see that Nasir truly could express himself, and he wanted to be in art and design. Later “The Bridge” had its rivals with the Bronx. And the young boy attracts attention with his rough lyrics great flow.

The actual climax of the film is told during a foray through the hood. The traumatic tragedy before Nas makes it to “Illmatic”. The photo shooting for the cover reveals more background infos and at the end, the film shows Havard with its Hip Hop Archive and Nasir Jones Hip Hop Fellowship.