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S45 Ep18

Nas Live From the Kennedy Center: Classical Hip-Hop

Premiere: 2/2/2018 | 00:02:00 | Closed Captioning Icon

Nas reflects on partnering with the Kennedy Center to perform a symphonic version of "Illmatic" with the National Symphony Orchestra. Steven Reineke discusses branching out into hip-hop and rap for the first time as a classical orchestra conductor. Great Performances — Nas Live From the Kennedy Center: Classical Hip-Hop premieres nationwide Friday, February 2 at 9PM on PBS (check local listings).

About the Episode

Critically acclaimed hip-hop artist Nas reflects on partnering with the Kennedy Center to perform a symphonic rendition of his album “Illmatic” alongside the National Symphony Orchestra. National Symphony Orchestra Conductor Steven Reineke discusses branching out into hip-hop and rap for the first time as a classical orchestra conductor. Great Performances — Nas Live From the Kennedy Center: Classical Hip-Hop premieres nationwide Friday, February 2 at 9PM on PBS (check local listings).

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TRANSCRIPT

- What's going on?

Nas.

I'm a listener of music.

I'm a fan of music.

I know the way I wanna experience music.

It's not always the same.

I like to try to create those experiences for people when it comes to listening to my stuff.

So good to be here tonight with you!

(audience clapping and cheering) Being a musician, this is my dream.

To make this dream possible, we needed to partner up with somebody that does this for real.

And that's the Kennedy Center.

- This is the first time, me as a classical orchestra conductor, was gonna branch out into the realm of doing you know hip hop music and rap music.

And the idea of finally tackling this genre, was something I was really looking forward to do.

- This is a whole different approach.

You know, doing it this way, it was new to my ears.

It was a big thing to just see myself keep up with the orchestra behind me and them keep up with me.

And it's kinda like, tripping me out the whole time through each song was crazy for me.

I made it fun.

If you was there with me in '94, make some noise!

(audience cheering) Everyone of us has people who lived and died for us to be here and that's always important to think about.

You know, think about what really got you here.

Because, there's lots of great artists and writers, pianists and musicians that never make it to a stage like this.

So when you see one of them that do, you know you gotta say that you know, 'This guy is doing it for everybody who didn't make it there'. 20 years!

Yes!

Special thanks to everybody up in here!

I want the audience to look at me like, yo look at this kid from the hood on a stage where he belongs.

Special thank you to the National Symphony Orchestra!

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