Friday, October 30

Nas: Time is Illmatic (2014)


"American social ills get the expensive treatment in artist-turned-film-maker One9’s documentary about Illmatic, the classic 1994 album by rapper Nas. A chronicle of the effects of poverty and poor housing on a generation of New York’s black kids, Illmatic was a scouring exposé. One9’s film, shot on high-end kit, flirts with glamorising the rags-to-rap-to-riches story, but in doing so stays true to its subject. It’s a touch too laudatory. It’s at its best when the gloss falls away. After talking amiably about life in the hood from the comfort of recording studios and loft apartments, Nas takes a trip into the Queensbridge housing project where he grew up. The old neighbourhood welcomes him, but there’s a disconnect. The local boy made it out. He’s a beloved alien to the locals. The world is his. Theirs hasn’t changed much."
Guardian
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