Nas is hitting the road with the album that started it all.
The rapper will take stages across North America this fall for a tour that coincides with screenings of his Tribeca Film documentary, Nas: Time Is Illmatic, it was announced Tuesday.
The tour will kick off on Oct. 2 in Rochester and close in Oakland on Oct. 19. At each stop, he will perform Illmatic — his ten-track 1994 debut that has been lauded as one of the most influential and important albums of hip-hop — from start to finish.
The slew of performances mirror the post-screening concert that kicked off this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in April, where he was introduced to the stage by Alicia Keys. Nas: Time Is Illmatic will open theatrically via Tribeca Film beginning in New York on Oct. 1, with a national expansion to follow, and will be available on demand and iTunes on Oct. 3.
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“I want to thank Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal and the Tribeca Film family for all of the love and support they’ve given Time Is Illmatic,” said Nas in a statement. “It is an honor to be in partnership with them, and I feel there is a cultural kinship bonded by the city of New York.”
The documentary project began when former VIBE music editor Erik Parker recruited multimedia producer One9 to shoot clips for the album’s tenth anniversary, but the two then stumbled onto a larger story, as the film includes a characterization of the Queensbridge Housing Projects, an interview with Nasir Jones’ father Olu Dara in Natches, Miss., and an eyewitness account from Nas’ brother, Jabari “Jungle” Jones, of the death his early collaborator, Willy “Ill Will” Graham, which catapulted him into the Illmatic creative burst.
With grants from The Ford Foundation’s Just Films and the Tribeca Film Institute’s Tribeca All Access Program, the two finished the project in time for Illmatic’s twenty-year milestone and anniversary release, Illmatic XX. Nas himself got involved with the film well into the process, but told THR at its premiere, “I’m happy I did it. I love those guys; they opened up my world and I’m forever grateful.”
“When we started this project, Erik Parker and I couldn’t imagine that audiences would one day be able to experience the film with a live performance of Illmatic, the album that started it all,” said director One9 in a statement. “It will make each night a truly special moment for the culture. We are sure people of all generations will be inspired by the story of Nas, the Jones family, and electrified by a live performance.”
See below for Nas’ tour dates:
Oct. 2 Rochester, NY Main Street Armony*
?Oct. 3 Albany, NY Palace Theatre?
Oct. 4 Washington D.C. Lincoln Theatre (Matinee)
?Oct. 5 Glenside, PA Keswick Theatre
?Oct. 8 Toronto, ON Queen Elizabeth Theatre?
Oct. 9 Detroit, MI The Fillmore Detroit?
Oct. 10 Hammond, IN Horseshoe?
Oct. 11 Lincoln, Ne Bourbon Theatre
Oct. 12 Denver, CO Paramount Theatre
?Oct. 15 Seattle, WA Moore Theatre?
Oct. 16 Vancouver, BC Vogue Theatre?
Oct. 17 Las Vegas, NV The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas*
?Oct. 18 Los Angeles, CA Orpheum Theatre?
Oct. 19 Oakland, CA Fox Theater
*Will not be screening Nas: Time is Illmatic.