The 1990s marked a turning point for rap and hip hop, with plenty of artists making their mark on the scene with seminal releases. Nas was one of them, and now his landmark debut 'Illmatic' is being explored in a telling documentary, 'Nas: Time Is Illmatic'.

'Nas: Time Is Illmatic' poster
'Time Is Illmatic' explores the legacy of Nas' debut

Like many young black men exposed to rap culture, Nas (born Nasir bin Olu Dara Jones) was forced to live a life of fear and poverty as a youth, with guns and killings being a thing of daily terror. After his early collaborator Ill Will was shot dead and his brother injured in the process, it was time to write an album revealing the truth about ghetto culture - and the fear and rivalry that comes with it. 'Nas: Time Is Illmatic' explores his moving relationship with his parents against the grim backdrop of Queensbridge, as he rose up to become one of the greatest rapstars of all time.

More: See pictures of 'Nas: Time Is Illmatic' arrivals at TIFF premiere

At the helm of the movie is first time director One9; a Brooklyn-based award-winning artist who was recently commissioned to produce a series of art pieces to be awarded to a selection of musicians at the Barclays Center. Alongside him is writer Erik Parker; a journalist who has worked on a variety of articles surrounding hip hop music and culture. While Nas leads us into his world and his thoughts on 'Illmatic' in the documentary, we'll also see a mass of popular artists singing his praises throughout including Pharrell, Alicia Keys, Busta Rhymes and Swizz Beatz.

Watch the trailer for 'Nas: Time Is Illmatic' here:

This multi-Grammy winning rapper has produced nine albums since the release of 'Illmatic' which, while serving as a monumentally important album to critics and fans alike, was actually one of his less commercially successful ventures. 1996 follow up 'It Was Written' brought in the most sales, while his last album 'Life Is Good' (2012) proved that he was still as solid as ever when it topped the US Billboard as well as Rap and R&B charts.

More: Watch the video for Nas' 'Illmatic' track, 'It Ain't Hard To Tell'

Co-produced by his manager Anthony Saleh, 'Nas: Time Is Illmatic' hits UK cinemas today (October 24th 2014).

Nas 1993 promo
'Time Is Illmatic' is released today