nas la performance

Nas: Time Is Illmatic Screening and Performance Hits LA

* was an invited guest of Hennessy V.S to the Los Angeles screening of Hennessy V.S Presents “Nas: Time Is Illmatic and live performance, which took place on Saturday, October 18th at the Orpheum Theater in Downtown Los Angeles.

We were first treated to a cocktail hour at Katsuya hosted by Hennessy V.S where a specially cocktail called the ‘Hennessy Big Apple’ was served, which also happens to be Nas’ personal favorite.

Hennessy has long been a fixture represented through Nas’ lyrical body of work. It is the first brand he references in his iconic first album, “Illmatic.”  We also noshed on delicious appetizers prepared by the famous eatery.

It was there that we chatted with “Nas: Time is Illmatic” filmmaker One9 about the process of making the acclaimed documentary –which he described as a labor of love.  The project, which took 10 years to complete, premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival to critical success, even having Robert De Niro singing its praise earlier this month.   Read more on our coverage of the documentary here.

During the screening of the compelling Nas: Time is Illmatic, it was as if church was in session and Nas’ journey to completing Illmatic was the message.  Every so often someone would shout out from the crowd in sheer glee at getting to bear witness to the detailed account of how quite possibly one of the most legendary albums in hip hop came to be.  When the doc revealed Nas spitting some of his classic lyrics – it was as if audience members were catching the Holy Ghost inspired by Nas’ rhymes.

Immediately after the screening, Nas hit the stage to perform the entire Illmatic album, with a few of his other hits like “Hate Me Now” and “Oochie Wally” sprinkled into the set for good measure.  Unfortunately, the show wasn’t without its technical problems, as the two giant stage-side speakers kept dropping out, leaving Nas almost inaudible on the stage more than a few times.

The situation almost threw the crowd into a frenzy, had it not been for Nas’ unique connection with his fans.  For a less experienced and beloved MC this could have been a show-ending state of affairs, but for Nas it was an opportunity for him to connect with the audience on another level, expressing his love for how much they wouldn’t stand for anything to come between him sharing this important moment in music with them.  Nas bonded with the crowded expressing his desire to give them what they wanted, the way they wanted it, which appeared to make them respect him all the more.

It was almost poetic to watch.  There was no hypeman for Nas to rely on to address the crowd’s growing frustration, no bank of his boys behind him to hold him down when things got tough, no dancers to entertain the crowed during the technicalities, and they were plentiful.  There was just one man, one mic, one beat, one stage.  And when it was all said and done, there was not one disappointed Nas fan in the house.

“Nas: Time is Illmatic” is now available on iTunes and On Demand.

Get MORE info here:

Nas after party pics:

after party 3 after party 2

Actress/singer Tichina Arnold came out for the event:

Tichina Arnold


(Nas: Time Is Illmatic Screening and Performance Hits LA)