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TriBeCa Film Festival

Review: 'Time Is Illmatic' ★★★ 1/2

Review: 'Time Is Illmatic' ★★★ 1/2

It's unlikely that hip-hop documentary "Time Is Illmatic" will have many showings as thrilling as its opening-night slot at this year's Tribeca Film Festival, where it preceded an impassioned live performance by its subject, the artist born Nasir bin Olu Dara Jones and better known by his stage name: Nas. Still, this brisk, stylish and extremely heartfelt portrait of Nas' rise from the housing projects of Queensbridge to the heights of hip-hop royalty ably stands on its own, marked by an admirable focus on the man and his music rather than hype and hagiography. In his feature directing debut, the former graffiti artist and graphic designer One9 smartly avoids...