30 Surprising Facts About Nas That Every Fan Should Know


Nas, with eight consecutive platinum and multi-platinum albums released, is widely regarded as one of the greatest rappers of all time. Here are some really interesting things about the American rapper and songwriter:

  1.  He is often described as the Rakim of his generation. The two have even collaborated once, for an album, and is said to hold a mutual respect for one another, as mentor and disciple.
  2.  His debut album "Illmatic," released in the year 1994, which received universal acclaim, is often ranked as one of the greatest hip-hop albums of all time.
  3.  He was honored by the Harvard University in July 2013, with the establishment of the Nasir Jones Hip-Hop Fellowship that would fund scholars and artists with the potential in srts in connection to hip hop.
  4.  He, being a good friend of Raekwon of Wutang, was the first rapper outside of the wu camp to be featured on a wu album titled "Only Built for Cuban Linx."
  5.  He was featured on the cover of the Kool G. Rap album "4,5,6," having made guest appearance along with B1 and MF Grimm.
  6.  In the year 2014, Nas was ranked at #1 in the's list of the "50 Greatest MCs of All Time," while Billboard listed him among "The 10 Best Rappers of All Time," the very next year.
  7.  Nasir bin Olu Dara Jones was born on September 14, 1973, to Olu Dara and Fannie Ann Jones, in Brooklyn, New York.
  8.  His father is a jazz and blues musician from Mississippi, while his mother was a Postal Service worker from North Carolina.
  9.  He has a brother named Jabari Fret, famously known by the name "Jungle," is a member of the hip-hop group Bravehearts.
  10.  He even recorded a hip-hop-blues collaboration titled "Bridging the Gap," with his father, for the album "Street's Disciple."
  11.  His mother died of breast cancer in April 2002. He reportedly held her in his arms, until she passed on at the hospital.
  12.  Nas dedicated several songs of his album "God's Son" released in December 2002, to his mother, including the most popular song "Dance."
  13.  During his childhood, the family relocated to the Queensbridge Houses in the Long Island City, where Willy "Ill Will" Graham, a very good neighbor, played him hip-hop records, which created his interest in music.
  14.  He is a first cousin, once removed for models Yara Shahidi and Sayeed Shahidi, as his maternal grandparents - Charles Rufus Jones and Ella Mae, were the maternal great-grandparents, of the Shahidis.
  15.  He discovered that his Y-DNA (patrilineal DNA line) goes back to Scandinavia, through the show "Who Do You Think You Are?"
  16.  He learned about his ancestry, in particular about the past five generations, through PBS's "Finding Your Roots," in October 2014. He discovered that his great-great-great-grandmother, Pocahontas Little, was a slave who was sold for $830. Nas considered to buy the land the person who bought his great-great-great-grandmother lived.
  17.  In his early years, Nas is known to write his own rhymes and play the trumpet. He quit schooling after eighth grade.
  18.  Before "Illmatic," he had his neighbor Graham, enlisted as his DJ, and went by the nickname "Kid Wave," which later became the well-known alias "Nasty Nas."
  19.  He serves as the narrator on Netflix's hip hop drama "The Get Down" and reportedly voices adult Ezekiel Figuero. He is said to have written the rhymes for the show's fictional rap group.
  20.  He owns a venture capital firm called QueensBridge Venture Partners, which reportedly invests in technology companies, such as the Lyft, Fan Duel, Tradesy, and Genius.
  21.  It is reported that he recorded the opening song "N.Y. State of Mind," in the album "Illmatic," in just one take. In fact, he wrote the original 60-bar verse in the studio the same day. This can be heard, when he says "I don't know how to start this shit," before starting the verse in the song.
  22.  He had recorded the original version of "Ether" over a Swizz Beatz beat, which was reportedly inspired by 50 Cent, who was present during a part of the song's recording.
  23.  He is a spokesperson and mentor for P'Tones Records, a non-profit after school music program that focuses on creating constructive opportunities for urban youth through no-cost music programs.
  24.  He reportedly invested an undisclosed six-figure sum into Mass Appeal Magazine on April 10, 2013. He currently serves as the publication's associate publisher.
  25.  Nas is said to have collaborated with the New York City soul food restaurant Sweet Chick in June 2015, with plans to expand the brand nationally. The first location was opened in the Los Angeles in April 2017.
  26.  He has a daughter named Destiny with his ex-fiance Carmen Bryan, who later confessed to him that she also had a relationship with his then-rival rapper and nemesis Jay-Z.
  27.  He first met R&B singer Kelis, during an after-party at Sean 'Diddy' Combs's bacchanal at the luxurious Cipriani restaurant. After a three year relationship, he married her in the year 2005 in Atlanta. The couple have a son named Knight Jones.
  28.  On the cover of his album "Life is Good," he can be seen wearing a suit, in which he actually married his wife Kelis. The dress he is holding is in fact Kelis's green wedding dress.
  29.  In the year 2009, Kelis reportedly filed for divorce, citing irreconcilable differences, which was finalized on May 21, 2010. Kelis has accused him of being mentally and physically abusive, while, he has accused her of abusing his daughter Destiny.
  30.  He became the first rapper to have a personal verified account on Rap Genius on March 15, 2012, where he personally explains all his lyrics, while commenting on the lyrics of other rappers he admires.
  31.  Nas Net Worth: $35 Million

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