Queens grown rapper, song writer, producer, and actor Nas is arguably one of the greatest titans of hip-hop as a genre. Since the early 90’s he has been making his own personalized stamp on the world.
At this point Nas’s career in some respects has come full circle, as he has made it to heights that so few artists of any genre ever manage to get to.
On Feb 2 he was able to play the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. while combining forces with the National Symphony Orchestra to perform his iconic 1994 debut album Illmatic in its entirety with a classical spin.
The entire performance was broadcast on PBS in an episode of their series Great Performances. The episode also includes a background of Nas, Illmatic, and the performance itself in a documentary-like set-up.
In a preview clip for the performance the rapper talks about his career and how he managed to make it as far as he has, saying:
“I worked on my thing. I worked on my craft and I stuck to it. I hope that you can look through the dream with me and see the journey I took to be on this stage with an orchestra.”
The performance is one hell of a grand spectacle to witness. Not only did Nas clean up well with a well tailored black suit, but the orchestra itself did a remarkable and rather interesting job at giving their own symphonic take on classic beats and backing tracks originally crafted by Large Professor, DJ Premier, and the others that contributed to the magic that was and still is Illmatic.
Nas will also be taking part in an upcoming Netflix rap documentary titled Rapture along with 2 Chainz and Logic.
Watch Nas perform Illmatic with the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center here.
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