Huffpost Entertainment
Brennan Williams Headshot

Nas Celebrates 'Illmatic' 20th Anniversary With Special Kennedy Center Performance

Posted: Updated:
NAS ILLMATIC 20TH ANNIVERSARY
WASHINGTON, DC - March 28th, 2014 - Rapper Nas performs his classic debut album Illmatic with the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. The performance was part of the 'One Mic: Hip-Hop Culture Worldwide' festival. (Photo by Kyle Gustafson / For The Washington Post via Getty Images) | The Washington Post via Getty Images
Print

Two decades in the making, Nasir “Nas” Jones kicked off the 20th anniversary of his classic debut album, “Illmatic,” this past weekend with a special performance featuring the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center Concert Hall in Washington D.C.

And as expected, the veteran New York lyricist delivered two sold out captivating performances on Friday and Saturday lead by NSO Principal Pops Conductor, Steven Reineke, who provided newly commissioned orchestrations of the ten track opus, in addition to other notable hits including “Made You Look,” “Hate Me Now,” "Live at the Barbeque,” and “If I Ruled The World” to name a few.

Pulling together such an elaborate performance alongside the nation’s most prestigious instrumental ensemble was not only a milestone for the 40-year-old, but also a riveting cinematic experience.

"We just had one day to rehearse, and then the dress rehearsal, and that was the day of the show,” he revealed to those in attendance during the Hennessy V.S cast party at the venue’s KC Café. “It’s been two nights of my life that I will never forget. You know you kind of made it when you get the people that you work with are seasoned professionals. And that’s what I dealt with through this experience. You guys are serious people. You really, really, really made this whole thing turn into a movie.”

Nas’ two monumental performances also kicked off the Kennedy Center’s first annual, “One Mic: Hip-Hop Culture Worldwide Festival,” celebrating the four original elements of the genre’s culture: MCing, DJing, b-boying, and graffiti writing.

From now until April 13, hip-hop enthusiasts can partake in various ticketed and free performances and exhibitions, highlighting international and local artists who use hip-hop to transform their communities, as well as activists from D.C.’s hip-hop community. For a complete list of events from this year’s festival click here.

WATCH:

Also on The Huffington Post

Close
Nas Photos
of
Share
Tweet
Advertisement
Share this
close
Current Slide

Suggest a correction

Around the Web

Nas Announces "Illmatic XX" 20th Anniversary Edition, Tour | Complex

NSO Pops: Nas with the 20th Anniversary Celebration of ILLMATIC

Nas Celebrates Illmatic 20th Anniversary With Reissue ... - Pitchfork

Nas to Release 20th Anniversary Album 'Illmatic XX' - The Boombox

Nas Announces the Year of Illmatic XX: A Celebration of the ...

Nas to Release 20th Anniversary Edition of "Illmatic" @ARTISTdirect

Nas celebrates Illmatic 20th anniversary with deluxe edition ...

Nas to mark 20th anniversary of 'Illmatic' with reissue, film, tour - The ...

Nas Announces Illmatic 20th Anniversary Reissue, Tour ...

Nas To Release 20th Anniversary Edition Of "Illmatic"

Watch Nas and Scholar Michael Eric Dyson Talk About "Illmatic" and the Current ...

Listen: Nas' unreleased freestyle from 1993, taken from the 20th anniversary ...

Party Diary: Nas performs at the Kennedy Center

'Festival Crush' Kept Nas From Australia

Listen: Nas' unreleased song "I'm A Villain"

Steven Tyler, Jimmy Carter and Nas will be dropping by the District this week

One Mic Brings Hip-Hop Culture To The Kennedy Center

Soundset 2014 Lineup: Atmosphere, Wiz Khalifa, Nas, Cypress Hill, and more

Lollapalooza lineup is official, and looks exactly like you thought it did ...

The First Half of the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival's Lineup is Here, and It's ...