Rapper of international fame Nas was born Nasir bin Olu Dara Jones on September 14, 1973, in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. Nas was heavily influenced by the hip hop of the 1980s, and in 1992, he was signed to Columbia Records after meeting and speaking with MC Serch of 3rd Bass. Two years later, Nas released his debut album Illmatic, made extremely popular by singles such as “The World is Yours” and “It Ain’t Hard to Tell”. Nas was lauded for his poetic style and was dubbed the new Rakim. Nas followed this success with his second LP It Was Written.
1999 saw the release of his double album I Am… The Autobiography, which he followed with Nastradamus that same year, Stillmatic in 2001, The Lost Tapes and God’s Son in 2002, Street’s Disciple in 2004, Hip Hop is Dead in 2006, Untitled in 2008, Distant Relatives (with Damian Marley) in 2010, and Life is Good in 2012. Nas has been nominated for a handful of Grammy Awards, including Best Rap Album for I Am and Best Rap Song for “Daughters” in 2013. He also won the I Am Hip-Hop Icon Award at the 2006 BET Hip Hop Awards, and as of 2012, has had six of his albums rise to the #1 spot on the Billboard 200 list.