Who’ll be joining MIA as the second headliner at Lovebox this year? Well, to quote the man himself, ‘Y’all know it’s Nas yo.’ The New York rapper will be celebrating 20 years since the release of his debut LP ‘Illmatic’ by performing it in full this July in Victoria Park. It may be vintage, but it’s a record that has aged extremely well.
Truly great hip hop albums strap you down in a seat and say: ‘Welcome to my world.’ So it is, still, with ‘Illmatic’. Having grown up in America’s largest public housing project (in Queensbridge, NYC), the 20-year-old Nas experienced plenty of grit with which to sharpen his razorlike rhymes and vivid first-person narratives.
Yet amid the strife of street economics, gang life and folks ‘pissing in your elevator’, it remains an unusually optimistic slice of life. Loved by strivers and dreamers alike, it’s underpinned by the belief that talent can elevate those trapped in the ghetto – the perfect mix of hip hop culture and the American dream, in fact. Oliver Keens
See the full Lovebox line-up and buy tickets here!