It’s been about a year since monster bassist and innovative composer/arranger Derrick Hodge was joined on stage by the National Symphony Orchestra to play and pay tribute to rapper Nas’s acclaimed debut, Illmatic. That concert at the Kennedy Center marked the 20th anniversary of the release of Illmatic. Now, just around anniversary of that concert, we are excited to premiere this remarkable Derrick Hodge orchestral arrangement of Nas’s “The World Is Yours.”

Photo by Chris Baliwas
In addition to his deep pocket and incredible chops, Hodge commands respect for his serious skills as a composer and arranger and has worked on a multitude of films and records. This arrangement brings together his love of Nas’s album with his deep musical knowledge and skill. Of the inspiration and genesis of this arrangement, Hodge remarked:

I remember when in college, I’d stay listening to “Stillmatic” like it was my own story. Nas had a way with the pen that inspired me to be a storyteller, true no matter what. I didn’t realize this day would come where I’d have the opportunity to create an orchestral landscape around the original ‘Illmatic,’ an album that changed hip hop in a few major ways. One year ago, the Kennedy Center honored Nas’ ‘Illmatic’ album at the One Mic Festival in Washington, D.C.

I’ve decided to share the roughs of a few of the orchestrations I did for Nas and the National Symphony Orchestra a year ago. Much appreciation to Nas for trusting, and respecting these interpretations. Dream. Believe. Work!

Scroll down to listen to the arrangement and check out Revive for all the latest on Derrick Hodge. Head to DHodge’s website for more.


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