Hip-hop history was made in the desert. In celebration of Illmatic‘s 20th anniversary, Nas marked the occasion with a late-night set at Coachella on Saturday. Shortly after midnight, the Queens rapper took a trip down memory lane, performing his 1994 album in its entirety and bringing out some fellow icons.
In the middle of “The World Is Yours,” Jay Z joined his former rival onstage for “Dead Presidents,” which samples the Nas line, “I’m out for dead presidents to represent me.”
Hov performed “Where I’m From,” which ended with Nas reciting the line, “Who’s the best MC, Biggie, Jay Z, or…?” while standing alongside Jay.
“Make some noise for my motherfuckin’ man, Jay Z,” said Nas, to which Jay replied, “Peace to the god, Nas. I had to come all the way out here and celebrate 20 years of Illmatic. What an amazing accomplishment.”
Backed by DJ Green Lantern, Nas continued with his classics including “One Love” and “Represent.”
“This album only has nine fucking songs and it still stood the test of time for some crazy reason,” said Nas, who will release his commemorative album Illmatic XX on Tuesday. “‘Cause this shit represents the real in my humble opinion.”
With a bottle of Hennessy in hand, he paid tribute to Michael Jackson, whose song “Human Nature” he sampled on “It Ain’t Hard to Tell.”
He ended the 45-minute set with “Made You Look” and 1999’s “Hate Me Now,” for which he was joined by Puff Daddy.
“God sent you to us,” said the Bad Boy mogul. “You’re a lyrical genius, a musician, an artist in its rarest form.”
With the lights turned down, he closed out the evening with his 2002 Stillmatic single “One Mic,” dedicating it to the future artists.
Watch Nasty Nas celebrate 20 years of Illmatic below.
Nas’ Coachella Set List
“N.Y. State of Mind”
“Life’s a Bi**h”
“The World Is Yours”
“Dead Presidents” feat. Jay Z
“Where I’m From” feat. Jay Z
“One Time 4 Your Mind”
“It Ain’t Hard To Tell”
“Made You Look”
“Hate Me Now” feat. Diddy