Nasir bin Olu Dara Jones or Nas has been breaking speakers since his critically acclaimed debut album Illmatic in 1994. He’s rightfully earned a spot in the Hip Hop Hall of Fame residing next to big names like Biggie, Tupac, Eminem, and Jay Z among other legends. You may have known that in addition to making Hip Hop anthems Nas has also worked as a producer, actor and entrepreneur, but here are five things you might not know about Nas.
1. Nas recorded “N.Y. State of Mind”, from his legendary Illmatic album, in just one take.
2. Nas has acted in quite a few features including “Belly,” “Uptown Girls” and “John Q,” but did you know he turned down a role in “Save the Last Dance”? Thankful he did.
3. Executive Producer of Illmatic, MC Serch, claimed he found a garage with over 70k bootlegged cassettes of the album before its initial release, which ultimately led them to push for an earlier release of the album.
4. Nas has recorded sequels to multiple albums but never official released them because they didn’t live up to their predecessors.
5. Nas’s daughter, Destiny, is listed as an executive producer for the album Stillmatic so that she will continually receive royalty payments.
Without including collaborations or compilation mixes, Nas has released a total of ten studio albums, his most recent being Life Is Good (2012). In 2014 Nas released a 20th anniversary addition of Illmatic, widely seen as one of the best Hip Hop albums of all time, which features remastered tracks as well as previously unreleased demos, remixes and freestyles. In addition to Illmatic XX, Nas also released the documentary “Nas: Time is Illmatic,” in October of 2014.
The Hip Hop legend is currently working on a new album in collaboration with producers Swizz Beatz and Timbaland