There are few albums more important in the history of hip-hop than Illmatic. Nas’ debut album combined hard-hitting rhymes about Nasir Jones’ youth in Queensbridge, New York, with production from a selection of some of the biggest producers in the game. DJ Premier, Pete Rock, Large Professor and Q-Tip all joined with Nas himself in making the album, which was lauded by critics for its amalgamation of funk, jazz and vintage samples.
The songs were praised for the Nas’s delivery and vocal style, and the poeticism of some of the tracks has led Nas’s work to be compared to the conventions of jazz poetry. Meanwhile Nas’ lyrical treatment the themes of gang rivalries, drug violence and urban poverty have ensured that the album has lived on in the imaginations of fans around the world.
Our ten-piece ensemble, the Unknown Orchestra, will perform a brand new arrangement of Illmatic, offering a unique take on hip-hop's most iconic album.