Nas: Live from the Kennedy Center – Classical Hip-Hop (Documentary Trailer)

Two decades after the album’s critically-acclaimed release, hip-hop artist Nas teamed up with the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, to stage a symphonic rendition of “Illmatic,” a single of the most revered albums in hip-hop history. The new concert film Wonderful Performances — Nas Live From the Kennedy Center: Classical Hip-Hop captures the energy and nostalgia of this collaborative performance and premieres nationwide Friday, February 2 at 9 p.m. on PBS (verify neighborhood listings).

The system will be available to stream the following day at and PBS apps. Released in 1994, “Illmatic” is the seminal debut album from Nas, and has lengthy been regarded 1 of the greatest hip-hop records of all time. The album is a densely textured, deeply lyrical portrait of life in the largest public housing project in North America, the Queensbridge Houses, situated in the Long Island City region of New York City, residence to practically 7,000 folks. “It’s crazy, you know, I wrote this in the projects in New York City. Here we are in the capitol of America, Washington, DC, and, you know, a bunch of white individuals with strings and all that, playing this album, and they [sic] feeling it,” says Nas in exclusive behind-the-scenes footage captured during on-stage rehearsal before the concert.

Alternating in between candid reflections from Nas, pictures from his youth, backstage footage and a symphonic overall performance of “Illmatic,” the program offers an inside appear at the inspiration behind Nas’ music and his early life developing up in New York City. The combination of Nas and the orchestra reinvents the sound of some of his most popular songs, like “N.Y. State of Thoughts,” “The Planet is Yours,” “Memory Lane (Sittin’ In Da Park)” and “It Ain’t Hard to Tell” to create a classical hip-hop journey. “This was the 1st time me [sic], as a classical orchestra conductor, was going to branch out into the realm of carrying out hip-hop music and rap music. And the notion of ultimately tackling this genre was one thing I was truly searching forward to do,” says National Symphony Orchestra Principal Pops Conductor Steven Reineke about this innovative collaboration.

Wonderful Performances is created by THIRTEEN PRODUCTIONS LLC for WNET, 1 of America’s most prolific and respected public media providers. All through its much more than 40- year history on public tv, Great Performances has offered viewers across the nation with an unparalleled showcase of the greatest in all genres of the performing arts, serving as America’s most prestigious and enduring broadcaster of cultural programming.

A Mass Appeal production, Nas Live From the Kennedy Center: Classical HipHop is directed by Jason Goldwatch and executive produced by Nas, Anthony Saleh and Peter Bittenbender. For Wonderful Performances, Bill O’Donnell is series producer David Horn is executive producer.

This Wonderful Performances presentation is funded by the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Arts Fund, The Joseph & Robert Cornell Memorial Foundation, the Irene Diamond Fund, Rosalind P. Walter, The LuEsther T. Mertz Charitable Trust, The Agnes Varis Trust, The Starr Foundation, the Kate W. Cassidy Foundation, the Philip and Janice Levin Foundation, Ellen and James S. Marcus, The Abra Prentice Foundation and PBS.

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From: Mass Appeal



  1. this little homie

    Dear Mass Appeal,
    Fucking post proper shit like this. Not the mumble rapper fuckery. (In response to that Bhad Bhabie horse shit video).


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