Tribeca Film Festival to open with Nas documentary

Rapper Nas attends the VIBE Impact Awards presented in partnership with Malibu Red at the Carondelet House on Jan. 24, 2014, in Los Angeles. Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Malibu Red

The Tribeca Film Festival will once again kick off with music, opening its 13th annual edition with a documentary on Nas and a performance by the rapper.

The New York festival announced Wednesday that it will open April 16 with "Time Is Illmatic," a documentary on Nas' 1994 debut album "Illmatic." Following the film premiere, Nas will perform the album in full.

"I want to thank the Tribeca Film Festival for supporting the film with the incredible platform they've built over the years," Nas said in the announcement. "It's an honor to premiere this film in my hometown. I also want to thank One9 and Erik Parker for their persistence and hard work. Those guys and I come from the same place and era, which gives the doc an authenticity that is important to me. We wanted this film to represent the real, from the storyline all the way down to the directors and producers."

"Like the festival itself, 'Time is Illmatic' and the groundbreaking body of work it recognizes has roots grounded in New York City, but represents and reaches communities far beyond," added Jane Rosenthal, CEO and co-founder of Tribeca Film Festival. "The film spotlights a musical journey with community and family at its core and we look forward to celebrating this pivotal moment in hip hop history as we open our 13th edition."

Tribeca has in recent years increasingly turned to music documentaries to begin its film festival.

Last year's festival started with the Brooklyn indie band the National and the documentary "Mistaken for Strangers." In 2011, Cameron Crowe's Elton John and Leon Russell documentary, "The Union," was followed by a set by John.

The festival runs April 16-27. Its full feature film slate will be announced the first week in March.

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