Just the sound of that word would send a flood of emotions into the mind of any self-respecting hip-hop head. Illmatic is arguably the most revered rap album in the genre’s history by one of the greatest MCs ever to touch the mic. And for the first time ever, Nas will perform Illmatic live in Australia from start to finish.
To celebrate the album’s twentieth anniversary, Nas has taken his sold out Illmatic tour all over the globe during the past year to enormous critical acclaim, and now it’s Australia’s turn. Off the back of his recently-announced headlining slot at Melbourne’s Sugar Mountain festival on January 24, where he’ll perform Illmatic in full, Nas will give fans in Brisbane, Sydney and Perth the same opportunity to experience the classic album live. Each show will be a one-night-only affair.
When Nas released Illmatic in 1994, it was off the back of tremendous hype he’d built through his debut appearance on Main Source’s ‘Live at the Barbeque’ and 1992’s ‘Halftime’, his debut solo release and Illmatic’s first single. The album was a relative commercial fizzer, debuting at #12 on the Billboard 200 and its five singles failing to gain much traction on radio. But it sent critics and hip-hop lovers into an absolute frenzy. The Source magazine, hip-hop’s bible in the ‘90s, gave Illmatic a five-mic review – an extremely prestigious achievement and unheard of for a debut release. In the years following, word steadily spread and a consensus was reached – the hip-hop world had a masterpiece on its hands.
The album has been the subject of books, academic studies and this year’s widely acclaimed Time is Illmatic documentary, which will be released in Australia in January to coincide with this historic tour.
On top of his full Illmatic performance, Nas will also treat the crowd to a selection of hits from his celebrated catalogue. Each show is a guaranteed sell-out. Don’t sleep (‘cause sleep is the cousin of death).
Tuesday 20 January Brisbane | The Tivoli (18+)
Thursday 22 January Sydney | Enmore Theatre (All Ages)
Friday 23 January Sydney | Enmore Theatre (All Ages)
Saturday 24 January Melbourne | Sugar Mountain Festival*
Sunday 25 January Melbourne | Forum Theatre (18+)
Tuesday 27 January Perth | Metro City (18+)
Thursday 29 January Adelaide | HQ (18+)