The upcoming feature-length documentary Time Is Illmatic, which charts the trajectory of Nas‘s celebrated 1994 debut album Illmatic, will get its premiere April 16th on the opening night of the Tribeca Film Festival this spring. And because “sleep is the cousin of death,” the ever-restless rapper will perform all of the songs on the album in concert after the screening.
The film traces Nas’s origins and influences, beginning with his jazz-musician dad Olu Dara. It will also look into the “social conditions and environmental influences” that affected the rapper, according to the doc’s website, by examining his relationships with his Queensbridge neighbors, younger brother Jabari “Jungle” Fret and mother Ann Jones. Producer and director One9 collaborated with writer-producer Erik Parker to create the film.
“I want to thank the Tribeca Film Festival for supporting the film with the incredible platform they’ve built over the years,” Nas in a statement. “It’s an honor to premiere this film in my hometown. I also want to thank One9 and Erik Parker for their persistence and hard work. Those guys and I come from the same place and era, which gives the doc an authenticity that is important to me. We wanted this film to represent the real, from the storyline all the way down to the directors and producers.”
Tribeca Film Fest will run from April 16th to April 26th. It will announce its full schedule during the first week of March.
The release of the documentary coincides with the 20th anniversary of the landmark album, which the rapper will be reissuing with bonus material as Illmatic XX on April 15th. Nas recently told Rolling Stone that the milestone means a time of reflection for him. “It’s like I gave myself a 40th birthday present 20 years ago,” he said. “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.”