Nas Documentary Time Is Illmatic Kicks Off Tribeca Film Festival

Hip hop and Hollywood come together for the premiere.

Posted: 04/17/2014 10:30 AM EDT

The Tribeca Film Festival kicked off Wednesday night with an ode to New York hip hop. Time Is Illmatic, a documentary about Nas's seminal 1994 album Illmatic, was the opening night film. 

The red carpet premiere brought together stars from hip hop and Hollywood, while the Queens MC capped the night with a riveting performance of his classic work, which celebrates its 20th anniversary. Alicia Keys accompanied the rap impresario, who also called up his brother Jabari "Jungle" Fret for one track.

Pete RockMichael RapaportWale and Raekwon are just some of the stars that came out to support the film. 

TFF co-founder Robert De Niro — said by Nas to "play me in all of his movies" — introduced the film as not just about the making of an album, but "about the making of an artist here in our hometown."

Time Is Illmatic, directed by filmmaker One9 and written by Erik Parker, tracks Nas's journey from his youth in the Queensbridge housing projects and the era of 1980s hip hop that influenced him and shaped his career. "I was trying to make you experience my life," Nas says of the album in the film. "It's still me."

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 (Photo: Larry Busacca/Getty Images for the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival)

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