Hard to believe that next week, Nas’ classic rap debut Illmatic will turn 20 years old. And while hip-hoppers are gearing up for the celebration, the Queensbridge, New York, MC decided to start the party early on Monday night.
Nas, along with fellow Queens MC Q-Tip joined the Roots on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” to perform “One Love” and “The World Is Yours,” two singles from the much-revered LP.
The 40-year-old rap vet started his set sitting on a stool, wearing the same uniform he did back in 1994 when he was on his first promo run: a black military jacket, matching beanie on his head and Timberland construction boots. Together, Nas and Q-Tip rapped the heartfelt words to “One Love,” a dedication to the MC’s jailed friends.
“Stay civilized, time flies/ Incarcerated, your mind dies/ I hate it when your mom cries,” Nas spit in a somber tone.
For their second song of the night, the pair stood up for the more upbeat “The World Is Yours,” a Pete Rock-produced track that Q-Tip provided a remix for.
Illmatic doesn’t officially turn 20 until April 19, but next week, on April 15, Nas will release Illmatic XX. The new release will feature the album’s original 10 songs remastered, as well as additional bonus remixes, demos and rare B sides.
In addition, the rapper will kick off the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival with the premiere of his new documentary, “Time Is Illmatic.”