The postal worker Fannie Ann Jones and jazz musician Olu Hara are the parents of Nas. He was reared in the Queensbridge housing projects in New York City after being born on September 14, 1973. At the age of four, he began playing the trumpet, and at nine, he started penning rhymes. After being introduced to hip-hop by a neighbor named Willy “Ill Will” Graham, he gradually changed his focus from learning jazz music.
When he was just twelve years old, his parents got divorced, and he was expelled from school in the eighth grade. He traded the comfort of the classroom for the hard life on Queensbridge’s streets, where he picked up a lot of knowledge. Even reading literature on cultures from various countries helped him to educate himself. His willingness to keep studying and his experience playing it safe on the streets helped him characterize his rhymes.
Nas, whose real name is Nasir bin Olu Dara Jones, first used the moniker Kid Wave as a teenager before switching to the more popular term Nasty Nas and eventually removing the word Nasty. With the aid of MC Serch of 3rd Bass, he obtained a deal with Columbia Records in 1992 after performing and producing music as a street performer.
When Nas was chosen to sing “Halftime,” a song from the soundtrack for the film “Zebrahead,” he had the chance to show off his artistic abilities to a larger audience. He attracted the attention of the hip-hop scene thanks to this single. His debut album, “Illmatic,” which was released in 1994, the same year that his ex-fiancée Carmen Bryan gave birth to his first daughter Destiny, reached No. 12 on the Billboard Hot 200 and received favorable reviews from music fans.
After such a strong beginning, he continued to produce music and released his next album, “It Was Written,” two years later. He reached his highest point on the American albums chart—No. 1—with this album. This album served as both his first chart-topping release and a venue for him to promote his supergroup of rap artists, AZ, Foxy Brown, and Cormega, who were all affiliated to Dr. Dre’s Aftermath record label.
Nas released his third album, “I Am…The Autobiography,” in April 1999. Due to his talent, he was already well-liked by the hip-hop world. He had access to renowned musicians and took advantage of this to hire some of them as collaborators. As a result, he was now responsible for P. Diddy, DMX, Aaliyah, and Scarface. This album, like its predecessor, topped the Hot 200.
Due to its enormous success, he first intended to re-release “I Am…” materials under the new name “Nastradamus,” but he eventually abandoned the idea and chose to fill the album with only new songs. To reach the album’s November release schedule, it was rushed. Seven months was obviously not enough time to produce a hit, as the effort could only reach No. 7 on the albums chart.
After realizing his error, Nas, who wed Kelis after a two-year courtship, took his time to complete his fifth album, “Stillmatic.” He released mixtapes and a number of freestyles as he awaited the album’s release. He was engaged in a conflict with Jay-Z during this time. Before coming to an understanding in October 2005, the two rap moguls traded insults.
“Stillmatic,” which was released in December 2001, failed to match the popularity of his two prior chart-toppers. However, it was able to outperform “Nastradamus” in the charts, peaking at No. 5 on the Billboard Hot 200 and dominating the R&B/Hip-Hop Albums Chart. Amerie and Mary J. Blige were scheduled to work together on this album.
Nas’s “God’s Son” was released exactly a year after “Stillmatic” was, and its lyrics covered topics including religion, violence, and his personal emotional experiences. Alicia Keys, Kelis, and Tupac Shakur all contributed vocals. Despite dominating the R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart, the album only managed to reach No. 12 on the Hot 200, failing to reach the Top 10. Some critics cited poor production skills as the reason for the film’s failure, while others questioned its more commercial tone.
Nas appears to have taken the criticism of “God’s Son” seriously because on his subsequent album, “Street’s Disciple,” he went back to his roots. He added the song “These Are Our Heroes,” which ironically mocked so-called American heroes like Kobe Bryan and O.J. Simpson, in this album from 2004. The reviews for this book flooded in from the critics. It performed better than “God’s Son” on the charts, peaking at No. 5 like “Stillmatic,” and included Amerie, Busta Rhymes, and Maxwell.
Nas did not slow down when he returned to the studio shortly after “Street’s Disciple,” with small setbacks interspersed between each victory. In 2005, he released “Hip Hop Is Dead,” which became his debut album and featured his then-enemy Jay-Z. It also included names of will.i.am, Kelis, Kanye West, Chrisette Michele, Snoop Dogg, and The Game. After 1999’s “I Am…The Autobiography,” the album took the top spot on the Hot 200, giving him his first taste of the position. It was a group of songs that the critics said were “difficult not to respect, but hard to adore.”
After gathering his most well-known songs into a 2007 collection, Nas stirred some controversy when he said he would release an album titled “Nigger,” a term commonly used to denigrate black people. Outraged, the left wing demanded that he change the title. Even the parent company of Def Jam, Universal, was affected by the dispute since one of its investors threatened to withdraw a multi-million dollar investment if the title was not changed. Def Jam threatened to drop him as a result.
Nas ultimately bowed in to the criticism and agreed to delete the contentious moniker. “I think it’s crucial that the listeners get to hear this album. It has taken a while to happen. I want my followers to know that they can anticipate the same themes and messages both lyrically and creatively. The public will always be aware of the true name of this record and what it should be called “In a statement, he said.
The album was released in 2008 under “,” even though the original title had been withdrawn and he had not intended to replace it with another word. Many said that the artwork, which showed him turning away from the viewer, represented his silent protest after being forbidden from using the epithet “Nigger.” The album garnered favorable reviews and reached its highest point on the Billboard Hot 200, R&B/Hip-Hop Albums Chart, and Rap Albums Chart.
He announced plans to release a joint album with reggae musician Damian Marley at the 2009 Grammy Awards a year later. Regarding the duo project, he said, “I always enjoyed how reggae and hip-hop have always been interwoven and always kind of pushed each other.
On May 18, 2010, “Distant Relatives,” his first album since divorcing Kelis, was made available. K’naan, Stephen Marley, Joss Stone, and Lil Wayne are scheduled to appear on the album.