Nas... it's the 25th commemoration of the unbelievable 1994 album illmatic. One of the best rap album ever. I wish I had made it to this occasion on the main day, to really observe @nas. I was excited & ready to go see the pop up's attempt to cover a noteworthy & classic album like illmatic. Nas is one of the best story tellers and lyricist within recent memory. Sony honored the classic by directly facilitating this pop-up inside of their structure since Nas began at Columbia, it felt home. The general encompassing scene for this tribute to the Hip Hop legend Nas, is Amazing. Ace dimension Architecture showed in the Manhattan, NYC zone. driving towards and opposite the Sony Square structure. Be that as it may, when you get inside it's an alternate story. I genuinely think they misused the tribute by making it a pop up.
Being the Nas fan that I am. I feel it was a failed attempt to display the full history about the making of the album. It captured & covered Nas perfectly. It displayed where he came from and the time period for Nas, beautifully. Nas is supposed to be the extension of that. Which he is. But, I would've like to have seen a few more details & info on the actual creation of the album. The important pictures from the actual album, some beepers, empty EJ bottles, and some Ron G mixtape cassettes are a great addition. As well as, Yes. These items captured the time period perfectly, but if you're a young kid who didn't grow up in this era. I feel you will be disconnected from the time period that surrounds this small exhibit without any real context. I respect the attempt by Sony. But, I feel the younger generation will not fully understand how important the album is to Hip Hop, to try to fit this historic album history into a pop-up shop for a week is criminal. In my opinion. It should be inside a building like a museum and be observed on its own in full detail.
Outside of having to watch the Nas documentary itself to fully understand the time period and get the true feeling and sense of what this album did for the Hip Hop culture. Just by looking at the pop-up. The younger generation of today, won't understand or relate to what the artist before them had to go through to create music. Also, how much more expensive and difficult it was during this time period to be able to create anything. You didn't have fruity loops or pro-tools to make beats or your typical home studio like you have today. The pictures displayed below of the radio tape deck player, walkman, beepers, only show a fraction of the time period and gives you a small sense of what Nas was doing and probably had seen in his younger days in the QB projects in Queens during the '80s into the '90s. All while displaying the way we communicated through electronics back in his early day's.
In my humble opinion. I feel they should have had a full breakdown of the album, producers, engineers, and shown more of the equipment that went into creating the album. Dat tapes, ASR-10, SP-1200, TR-808 used to create the beats & other production sounds during this time period. Producers on the album like DJ Premier, Pete Rock, Q - Tip, Large Professor, L.E.S. etc.
Overall Hip Hop has come a long way. Nas has come from the QB project's to becoming a Pillar within Hip Hop culture, and of the music industry. Being an artist that went from having signed a 10 album deal at a young age. He is now in the beginning stages of his new legacy investing in the various business with his newly founded Investment group Queen Bridge Venture Partners. To having his first album on display inside of a large fortune 500 company like the Sony Square building to pay their respect. Black Excellence!!! Yes.. I might say, that. it is!
I've attached videos from the different producers that helped create the album, Nas brother Jungle, Also a video of a mixture of various interviews/footage from the artist Nas, himself during that time period to help give some extra historical context to the album. Enjoy!
Article written by Jason Turner of YSYM Films
Photographs taken by: Jason Turner of YSYM Films
Artwork Painter - artist Andre Trenier
Illmatic Photographer - Danny Clinch IG - https://www.instagram.com/dannybones64/