Nas adapted the many samples, hooks and beats that make up his 1994 debut album “Illmatic” into an epic performance with the National Symphony Orchestra in his upcoming PBS special, “Nas: Live from the Kennedy Center.”
PBS teased the special, which premieres Friday (February 2) at 9 p.m. EST, by releasing a performance clip yesterday (January 30). The video, which you can see above, features Nas and the National Symphony Orchestra performing “One Love.” The song, according to Genius, is strutctured as a letter and shares daily occurrences in his Queensbridge neighborhood to friends in jail. It incorporates the themes of despair and hope that ground much of “Illmatic.”
Nas touched on his own trajectory from his neighborhood to worldwide superstardom in a trailer for the special, which his affiliated media company Mass Appeal released earlier this month:
“I hope the audience looks at me like, ‘Yo, look at this kid from the hood, on a stage where he belongs!’” Nas says in the trailer, which also features part of “The World is Yours.”
“Nas: Live from the Kennedy Center” is part of PBS’ “Great Performances” series. Watch the “One Love” performance and trailer above before catching the performance on Friday night. You can also stream the special starting the next day (February 3) at PBS.org.