Nas’ ‘Time Is Illmatic’ Documentary Gets A Release Date

Doc will hit theaters in October.

By Maurice Bobb

Good news, Nas fans. New York-based film distributor Tribeca Film announced Tuesday (May 13) that it acquired the North American rights to “Time Is Illmatic.” The hip-hop documentary about the making of the Queensbridge MC’s seminal debut LP, Illmatic, kicked off the Tribeca Film Festival to rave reviews.

Tribeca Film is planning an October day-and-date release, which means the doc will hit theaters, DVD and VOD on the same day. In addition to a planned educational youth screening series, Nas will complement the release with special performances of his classic album in select cities.

The movie — which features vivid recreations from family members (mother Ann Jones, father Olu Dara and brother “Jungle”) of the rapper born Nasir Jones’ upbringing and struggles — was directed by multimedia artist One9 and written by Erik Parker.

“With ‘Time is Illmatic,’ Erik and I wanted to celebrate Nas’ groundbreaking album Illmatic and shed light on the socio-economic conditions that created it,” said One9. “Most importantly, we wanted to show how one piece of art gave hope to those searching for their voice in America. We are confident that our partnership with Tribeca will give the proper platform for this important American experience.”

After the film premiered at the Beacon Theater, the iconic lyricist performed every song from his classic album for hip-hop luminaries and TIFF founder, Robert DeNiro. He was blown away by the love.

“I want to thank Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal & the Tribeca Film family for all of the love & support they’ve given Time Is Illmatic,” Nas said that night. “It is an honor to be in partnership with them. I feel there is a cultural kinship bonded by the city of New York.”