Nasir bin Olu Dara Jones, born September 14, 1973 in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, New York and more known commonly as Nas (formerly Nasty Nas and Escobar), is a prominent American MC. The son of jazz musician Olu Dara, he was raised in the infamous Queensbridge housing projects in Queensbridge, Queens New York City. According to the Nasty Songfacts, as a teenager rapper, Nasir first went by the nickname Kid Wave before adopting his more commonly known alias of Nasty Nas. By the time he released his landmark solo debut album Illmatic in 1994, Jones was known as Nas.
Illmatic was a critically acclaimed bestseller and is widely considered one of the greatest rap albums of all time. He married R&B singer Kelis in 2005, they have one son together, and she filed for divorce on the 29th of April 2009. Nas was also a part of hip hop supergroup The Firm, which released one album.
In the years following the release of Illmatic, Nas pursued a more commercial direction, which resulted in wider success but decreased artistic credibility among critics and hip-hop purists. Furthermore, Nas’ increased commercial success was accompanied by stylistic changes that fostered accusations of “selling out”. Nevertheless, the LP Stillmatic is often credited for restoring Nas’ credibility among fans. Since the success of Stillmatic, Nas continues to maintain a high profile within the hip hop community, and has pursued a decidedly progressive and personal aesthetic. While Nas’ current artistic direction differs greatly from his most successful work, it has ensured that he remains one of the most respected and acclaimed contemporary rappers.