Nas, also known as Nasty Nas and Nas Escobar is one of the most acclaimed musical artists of the 21st century, having released more than seven consecutive platinum and multi-platinum albums.
The hip-hop artist began his musical career as a featured artist on New York City-based American hip hop group, Main Source’s viral hit “Live at the Barbeque”, in 1991. Nas would later release his debut titled: “Illmatic” in 1994, receiving commendations from both hip-hop fans and critics.
A true pioneer of rap music, especially in New York, the legend owes his rise to fame to his debut album. While many only remember Nas Escobar for his feuds with rappers like Jay Z, others recognize him for his failed marriage to popular American chef and singer, Kelis Rogers. In this article, however, you’ll get to know who the real Nas is and other lesser-known facts about him.
Early Life and Rise to Fame
Nas’ full name is Nasir Bin Olu Dara Jones. He was born to Olu Dara and Fannie Ann Jones, on September 14, 1973, in Brooklyn, New York. His father, who was originally born as Charles Jones III in Mississippi, is a guitarist, cornetist, and musician while his mother was a Postal Service worker who was born in North Carolina.
Nas has a brother called Jabari Fret Jones, who’s already following his brother’s footsteps in music. Jabari started out as a member of the New York-based hip-hop group, Bravehearts and had his big break after hanging around veteran rappers like Nature, Swizz Beatz, and N.O.R.E.
Although Nas was born in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, he was raised together with his brother in Queensbridge, New York. His father is of Yoruba descent while his mother, who died in 2012 after a three years battle with cancer, also belongs to the African-American ethnicity. Fannie died a divorcee, as she and her husband divorced in 1985.
Reports have it that the rapper studied at a high school in Queensbridge but later dropped out in the eighth grade to take part in rap music on the rough streets of Queensbridge project. Despite dropping out of school, Nas seems to have developed a high degree of literacy which is obvious in his lyrics. He also learned about African culture with the help of the Nuwaubian Nation and the Five Percent Nation.
Nas’ Family: Wife, Daughter, and Son
No doubt, life has been good for Nas and his robust career has continued to put more money in his pocket as well. But the New York rapper has dealt and still dealing with some family drama. Nas has two children – Destiny Jones and Knight Jones. While Destiny (born June 15, 1994) came from his relationship with his ex-fiancee, Carmen Bryan, he had Knight on July 21, 2009, with his ex-wife, Kelis Rogers.
Nas began dating Nicki Minaj in 2017, seven years after he separated from Kelis. The stars’ fans first caught sight of their friendship in May 2017. The rappers, however, made their love public during Nas’ 44th birthday when they were spotted together in several pictures cuddling up with each other.
Nas and Nicki’s love boat hit the rock eight months later, leading to their separation. According to reports, the rappers’ love for each other fizzled out due to the constraints of their long-distance relationship – Nicki is based in Miami while Nas lives in Los Angeles.
The Brooklyn-born entrepreneur also had a short-lived relationship with American singer-songwriter, Mary J. Blige.
Relationship With Kelis
Kelis and the hip-hop artist began dating in 2003 and got married in 2005, in Atlanta. They filed for divorce on April 29, 2009, citing irreconcilable differences. The couple finalized their divorce on May 21, 2010, a year after their son’s arrival was marred by a disagreement that ended in the rapper sharing the news of Knight’s birth via an online video at a gig in New York against Kelis’s wishes.
When the two got married in 2005, they became instant royalties in the public eye but their love for each other ran out after five years. In 2018, Kelis confessed that she called it quit because she was physically and mentally abused by Nas during their short-lived marriage.
Best known for popular genres like hip-hop, soul, and R&B, Kelis Rogers was born on August 21, 1979, in New York. She has been in the music industry since 1988 and has sold six million records worldwide. Her debut album titled: “Kaleidoscope” was released in 1999.
Net Worth – How Rich Is Nas?
It comes as no surprise that Nas makes an enviable load of money from his rapping, record production, and entrepreneurial business channels – many thanks to his iconic excellence, determination, and passion.
The rapper may not be where he hoped for but he has successfully built for himself an impressive net worth of $50 million which he amassed from the great jobs he’s doing in the music industry.
Height and Other Facts About the Rapper
1. Nas’s debut album, Illmatic, is ranked as one of the greatest albums of all time. He recorded the album when he was 17-18 years old.
2. His presence in the music industry has earned him so many awards and over 12 nominations at the Grammy Awards.
3. Nas is the cousin of Yara Shahidi, a popular American model, and actress.
4. In his younger years, he used to write his own rhymes and also play the trumpet.
5. The first time he smoked weed was when he was 11 years old. He was sent to jail once for smoking weed.
6. In his 7th grade, he was suspended for stabbing a fellow student with a pencil.
7. Before storming the hip-hop community with the stage name “Nas”, the rapper’s first moniker was “Kid Wave”.
8. Nas is said to have wept bitterly when Brooklyn-born rapper Christopher George Latore Wallace, better known by his stage name, Biggie, and East Harlem-born actor and rapper Tupac Amaru Shaku died.
9. The New York rapper was ranked as the 5th greatest MC by MTV on its “10 Greatest MCs of All Time” list, in 2006.
10. Nasir Bin Olu Dara Jones is 1.73 m tall.