Nas life and biography

Nas picture, image, poster

Nas biography

Date of birth : 1973-09-14
Date of death : -
Birthplace : Long Island, New York
Nationality : American
Category : Arts and Entertainment
Last modified : 2011-10-13
Credited as : Singer, Actor, P'Tones Records

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Nasir bin Olu Dara Jones who performs under the name Nas, formerly Nasty Nas, is an American rapper and actor. He is regarded as one of the most important figures in hip hop. His debut album Illmatic, released in 1994 by Columbia Records, was critically acclaimed and would go on to be widely hailed a classic in the genre. MTV ranked him at #5 on their list of The Greatest MCs (Rappers) of All Time.
Editors of About.com ranked him #4 on their list of the Top 50 MCs of Our Time (1987–2007),making him the highest ranking rapper of his generation (ahead of The Notorious B.I.G., Jay-Z and 2Pac).

Nas was part of hip-hop supergroup The Firm, which released one album. He is the son of jazz musician Olu Dara.

As a teenager, Nas enlisted his best friend and upstairs neighbor Willy "Ill Will" Graham as his DJ. Nas first went by the nickname Kid Wave before adopting his more commonly known alias of Nasty Nas. In the late 1980s, he met up with the producer "Large Professor" and went to the studio where Rakim and Kool G Rap were recording their albums. When they were not in the studio, Nas would go into the booth and record his own material. However, none of it was released.
In 1994, Nas's debut album, Illmatic, was finally released. It was awarded Five Mics from The Source.It also featured production from Large Professor, Pete Rock, Q-Tip, L.E.S. and DJ Premier, as well as guest appearances from Nas's friend AZ and his father Olu Dara. The album spawned several singles, including "The World Is Yours", "It Ain't Hard to Tell", and "One Love". Shaheem Reid of MTV News called Illmatic "the first classic LP" of 1994. Nas performed the song "One on One" for the movie Street Fighter.

Columbia Records began to press Nas to work towards more commercial topics, such as that of The Notorious B.I.G., who had become successful by releasing street singles that still retained pop-friendly appeal. Nas traded manager MC Serch for Steve Stoute, and began preparation for his second LP, It Was Written, consciously working towards a crossover-oriented sound. It Was Written, chiefly produced by Tone and Poke of Trackmasters, was released during the summer of 1996.

Signed to Dr. Dre's Aftermath Entertainment label, The Firm began working on their debut album. Halfway through the production of the album, Cormega was fired from the group by Steve Stoute, who had unsuccessfully attempted to force Cormega to sign a deal with his management company. In addition to the firing of Cormega, Alex Trojano was featured as a start up producer in The Firm. Cormega subsequently became one of Nas's most vocal opponents and released a number of underground hip hop singles "dissing" Nas, Stoute, and Nature, who replaced Cormega as the fourth member of The Firm. Nas, Foxy Brown, AZ, and Nature Present The Firm: The Album was finally released in 1997 to mixed reviews. The album failed to live up to its expected sales, despite being certified platinum, and the members of the group disbanded to go their separate ways.

During this period, Nas was one of four rappers (the others being B-Real, KRS-One and RBX) in the hip hop super-group Group Therapy, who appeared on the song "East Coast/West Coast Killas" from Dr. Dre Presents the Aftermath. In 1998, Nas co-wrote and starred in Hype Williams's 1998 feature film Belly.

In late 1997, Nas began work on a double album, to be entitled I Am... The Autobiography; he intended it as the middle ground between Illmatic and It Was Written, with each track detailing a part of his life. The album was completed in early 1999, and a music video was shot for its lead single, "Nas Is Like".
Columbia had scheduled to release the pirated material from I Am... under the title Nastradamus during the later half of 1999, but, at the last minute, Nas decided to record an entire new album for the 1999 release of Nastradamus. Nastradamus was therefore rushed to meet a November release date. Though critics were not kind to the album, it did result in a minor hit, "You Owe Me". It was produced by Timbaland and featured R&B singer Ginuwine. The only pirated track from I Am... to make it onto Nastradamus was "Project Windows," featuring Ronald Isley. A number of the other bootlegged tracks later made their way onto The Lost Tapes, a collection of underground Nas songs that was released by Columbia in September 2002. The collection saw decent sales and received glowing reviews.

In 2000, QB's Finest was released on Nas's Ill Will Records. QB's Finest is a compilation album that featured Nas and a number of other rappers from Queensbridge projects, including Mobb Deep, Nature, Capone, the Bravehearts, Tragedy Khadafi, Millennium Thug and Cormega, who had briefly reconciled with Nas.

From 2001 to 2005, Nas was involved in a widely publicized feud with rapper Jay-Z; both rappers verbally attacked each other in their songs. The two formally ended their rivalry through duet performances at concerts sponsored by New York City-area hip-hop radio stations. In 2006, he signed to Def Jam, releasing his albums Hip Hop Is Dead in 2006 and an untitled album in 2008.
At the 2009 Grammy Awards, Nas confirmed he was collaborating on an album with reggae musician Damian Marley which was expected to be released in Fall 2009. The album was released May 17, 2010.
On September 15, 2010 Nas announced on his Twitter "It's coming... LOST TAPES VOLUME TWO!!!".However, The Lost Tapes Vol. 2 was not released by the end of the year, and regarding the release of the compilation album Nas stated in an interview with MTV: "Because I kind of lost time, I really wanted to release [the mixtape] in December, But I'm starting my next album. So I feel like I'll probably give 'The Lost Tapes' as a deluxe, maybe, on the next album for free. I'm trying to figure that out now". Nas has now scrapped "The Lost Tapes Vol. 2", due to miscommunication with Def Jam.
On August 9, 2011, Nas released his first single from "Life is Good", called "Nasty".

He is also planning a collaboration with longtime rhyme partner AZ, confirmed via Twitter in August. The two have not released a track together since 2005.

In 1994, Nas's ex-fiancée Carmen Bryan gave birth to their daughter, Destiny. Nas also briefly dated Mary J. Blige. In 2005, Nas married R&B singer Kelis in Atlanta after a two-year relationship. On April 30, 2009, a spokesperson confirmed that Kelis filed for divorce, citing irreconcilable differences.Kelis gave birth to Nas's first son on July 21, 2009, although the event was soured by a disagreement which ended in Nas announcing the birth of his son, Knight, at a gig in Queens, NY, against Kelis's wishes. The birth was announced by Nas via an online video.

Ever since the couple split, just months before the birth of their first child together, Knight Jones, they have been battling it out in court over support payments. In December, a Los Angeles superior court judge ordered Nas to bump up his monthly child and spousal support payments from $40,000 to $51,000, for a total of more than $600,000 a year. The couple's divorce was finalized May 21, 2010.

Nas is a spokesperson and mentor for P'Tones Records, a non-profit after school music program with the mission "to create constructive opportunities for urban youth through no-cost music programs."

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