Last night Time Inc. chief content officer Norm Pearlstine hosted a screening at the Time-Life building of the new documentary Nas: Time is Illmatic, followed by a conversation between Nas and venture capitalist and unlikely rap fan Ben Horowitz. The film recounts the rapper’s rise to fame with his earth-shaking 1994 debut, Illmatic, from his childhood in Queensbridge through Illmatic‘s runaway success, and examines the ways it still reverberates through hip-hop culture.
After the movie Nas took the stage with Horowitz, where he admitted that he wasn’t particularly enthusiastic about the film project at first, but warmed to the idea over time. He also revealed some candid thoughts on stardom (“You never really get used to it, but there are worse things that can happen”), being compared to Walt Whitman (“It kind of goes over my head”), and whether or not he still thinks hip-hop is dead (“The spirit is still alive, but things need to die so new things can take over”).
Nas: Time is Illmatic is available on iTunes, Google Play, Amazon Instant Video, and Vudu, and it airs tonights at 9 p.m. on Showtime.