Legendary hip hop artist Nas is taking over the filmmaking biz with his new project, The Land. Written and directed by Steven Caple Jr. and produced by Nas, The Land is a coming-of-age film that follows a group of teenagers who are dealing with the dangerous repercussions of financing their skateboarding dreams. In an attempt to escape the predictable labours of Cleveland’s workforce, the four skaters find themselves in conflict with the city’s drug dealers.
With loose similarities to Dope and Spring Breakers, the film features newcomer Jorge Lendeborg Jr. and the familiar faces of Moises Arias (who played Rico in Hannah Montana) and R&B singer Erykah Badu. Once wanting to be a professional skateboarder himself, Lendeborg (the main actor in the film) holds many connections to his character Cisco, allowing him to perform the skateboard stunts in the movie himself. Check out the trailer below.
The Land heavily incorporates the world of hip hop and skateboarding through a soundtrack curated by Nas himself. Featuring music from artists like Badu, Kanye West, French Montana, Pusha T and, of course, Nas, the movie’s impressive soundtrack adds to an already thrilling plot line. It’s also the first soundtrack to be released under Nas’ label, Mass Appeal Records. In an interview with Billboard, Lendeborg talks about the marriage of skateboarding and hip hop.
“We treat skateboarding how a kid would treat it, like a getaway from real life. The hip-hop aides in that same way because its music that the underground listens to,” he said.
Though the playlist features nothing too new, Nas explains that the movie’s soundtrack was perfectly curated to portray not only the movie’s dealings, but the current tragic events happening around the world.
“It’s nothing new that’s been going on,” said Nas. “We made the music a little while ago, but what’s been going on has been going on too long. The music was just written about life.”
“This Bitter Land,” the first single off of the soundtrack, is a chilling collaboration between Nas and Badu that perfectly exemplifies the artist’s statement above. Through the use of well-selected lyrics, the song reflects on youth and the struggles that come with striving for success in an unforgiving world.
Listen to “This Bitter Land” and the rest of The Land‘s soundtrack in the Spotify playlist below.
The Land is currently playing in select theatres in Los Angeles and New York and is set to premiere to the rest of the Internet on August 4. Don’t forget to grab your popcorn and skateboarding/hip hop-loving BFF for this new Nas production.