Time Is Illmatic traces Nas’s influences and the insurmountable odds he faced in creating the greatest work of music from hip-hop’s second golden era. The film tracks the musical legacy of the Jones family — handed down to Nas from his jazz musician father, Olu Dara, the support of his Queensbridge neighborhood crew, and the loyalty of his younger brother Jabari “Jungle” Fret. Twenty years after its release, Illmatic is widely recognized as a hip-hop benchmark that encapsulates the sociopolitical outlook, enduring spirit, and collective angst of a generation of young men searching for their voice in America. Time Is Illmatic is supported by The Ford Foundation’s Just Films and Tribeca Film Institute’s Tribeca All Access program.
The first film centered around aspiring cop Ben (Hart) and his girlfriend’s intimidating police officer brother James (Cube). In an effort to scare Ben off, James takes Ben on the weirdest, wildest ride-along of their lives.
Pharrell Williams, Girl
Prior to the release of Pharrell Williams’ new album, “G I R L,” on March 3, his music will be heard in a Red Bull TV ad, promos on ABC’s “Good Morning America” and, quite possibly, on eBay. The wildly popular first single, “Happy,” will definitely be heard on the Academy Awards on March 2.
“Coming off the Grammys, his performance at the NBA All-star Game that showed the depth and the breadth of his work, the Brit Awards (Feb. 19) and the Oscars — it’s taking advantage of the global spotlight on him,” Columbia Records senior VP of marketing Scott Greer tells Billboard of the newly set release date.
None of the music from the Columbia album will be released in advance and anyone choosing to pre-order the album on iTunes has to do so knowing only one of the album’s 10 song titles, “Happy.”
The Red Bull ad will debut March 1 with a track from “G I R L” that is expected to run for several months. “Happy,” which has already been prominently featured in a Beats by Dre commercial, will be used in Fiat commercial with Diddy and in promos for “GMA” as it makes inroads in at least six radio formats.
“Now we’re going to work on ways toward telling the story of what the album is,” says Columbia Records GM/executive VP Joel Klaiman, who called it “innovative yet comfortable.” “How much we get to do in the next 13 days is in discussion. It’s not fully decided.”
The decision to release the album globally the day after the Oscars was made less than 10 days ago after it was determined Williams and his management team was satisfied with the music. Ideas about standard rollouts and waiting to break a second single were discussed, but ultimately the label decided to strike when hot.
“We’re happily tightening the window between announcement and release,” Klaiman tells Billboard. “When you look at the last year, Columbia had three of the most talked-about album releases. David Bowie was in silence without any activity (prior to release). Beyonce had rumor and speculation and she put out an audio-visual experience that shocked the world. Daft Punk had an incredible collaborative effort with teaser announcements. Pharrell wanted a sense of urgency to the project.”
Williams’ announcement was made at midnight West Coast time on Feb. 19, coinciding with his performance of “Happy” and “Get Lucky” with Nile Rodgers on the Brit Awards in London. He sent out a 25-second video via Twitter andInstagram of him working in the studio with a string section under the direction of composer, and Williams’ film music mentor, Hans Zimmer.
Future messaging will also come through eBay, which has a pre-existing relationship with Williams.
The middle of April is the earliest a second single would be released, Greer says. “The impetus for that is the timeline on the international side with the European market and the U.K. moving faster through singles than the U.S.”
And fans of “Happy” should circle March 20 on their calendars. That’s the International Day of Happiness, and Williams and his team are exploring a way to explore another 24 hours of happy.
Here’s the first leaked image unearthed by @evleaks that shows the 2014 HTC One in gold, a successor to HTC’s flagship smartphone. HTC is planning to introduce its newest HTC One on March 25, however, it might be called “All New HTC One, 2014.”
IM GETTING ALL THESE
Roland has announced the long-awaited series of AIRA products. The first four products introduced in the series are the TR-8 Rhythm Performer which combines the classic 808 and 909 into one machine, the TB-3 Touch Bassline which replaces the older 303, the VT-3 Voice Transformer and the SYSTEM-1 PLUG-OUT Synthesizer. At the heart of the range is the newly developed Analog Circuit Behavior (ACB) which captures the sound and feel of some of Roland’s most revered classics. It utilizes original design specs, consultation with original engineers, and a detailed part-by-part analysis of each analog circuit using Roland’s collection of archived drum machines and synthesizers. The AIRA range will be available at select retailers beginning in March, for more information please visit Roland.
I COULD PLAY THESE
The shoe remixes the staple with a neoprene tongue and a lightweight blown EVA cupsole that brings a technical edge to the casual classic.