Documentary about Nas debut rap album to open Tribeca Film Fest

NEW YORK Wed Feb 19, 2014 1:17pm EST

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - "Time is Illmatic," a documentary about American rapper Nas and the making of his 1994 acclaimed debut album "Illmatic," will kick off the 13th Tribeca Film Festival in New York on April 16, organizers said on Wednesday.

Following the world premiere of the film that chronicles the rise of the New York-born artist, Nas will appear at the festival in a special performance of the album, considered to be one of the greatest rap records ever made.

"Like the festival itself, 'Time is Illmatic' and the groundbreaking body of work it recognizes has roots grounded in New York City, but represents and reaches communities far beyond," Jane Rosenthal, the CEO and co-founder of the festival, said in a statement.

Nas, the son of jazz musician Olu Dara, has released nine solo albums and three compilations, selling more than 20 million records worldwide. His debut album will be reissued On April 15 in a double disc special edition "Illmatic XX" to mark the 20th anniversary.

Known for the social commentary and honesty in his work, Nas said the documentary, written by Erik Parker and directed by multimedia artist One9, represents the real world.

"Those guys and I come from the same place and era, which gives the doc an authenticity that is important to me," he said.

Since the Tribeca Film Festival was founded in 2001 by Rosenthal, actor Robert De Niro and investor Craig Hatkoff to revitalize the downtown New York neighborhood following the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center, it has screened more than 1,500 films from 80 countries.

Feature films that will be screened at the festival, which runs from April 16-27, will be announced in March.

(Reporting by Patricia Reaney; Editing by Mary Milliken)

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