Nasir bin Olu Dara Jones was born in Queens, New York on September 14th, 1973.
By the time he was 10 years old, Nas would write and practice rhymes and wake his older brother in the morning to get feedback on his lyricism.
The song, “The Bridge”, by MC Shan and music producer Marley Marl became popular and caught Nas’ attention, especially their description of his neighborhood, Queensbridge. It sparked Nas’ pride for his community.
Nas met producer Large Professor and his group Main Source. Large Professor later becomes one of the main producers of Illmatic.
Nas’ commercial record debut was featured on Main Source’s “Live at the Barbeque.” In the song, he refers to himself by the nickname “Nasty Nas.”
Rap artist and producer MC Serch sought out Nas after hearing “Live at the Barbeque.” Also impressed by the song, former Columbia Records A&R Faith Newman looked to connect with him. Later that year, Nas signed a record deal with Columbia Records.
Nas, known at the time as Nasty Nas, released the single “Halftime,” which was featured on the Zebrahead soundtrack.
Nas releases his debut album Illmatic, Accompanied by a legendary team of producers, the 19-year-old made an indelible mark on hiphop culture as a whole, and on the art of rap specifically. When it was released, it landed at #12 on Billboard’s pop chart and # 2 on the R&B charts. The Source magazine also awarded it a coveted 5 mics.
Nas’ follow-up to Illmatic was his 2nd studio album “It Was Written,” featuring the single “If I Ruled the World (Imagine That) with Lauryn Hill of The Fugees. It debut at number one on the Billboard 200 pop and R&B album charts.
Nas along with Foxy Brown, AZ, and Nature form the super group The Firm later releasing The Firm: The Album.
Nas co-stars in the Hype Williams-directed film Belly (1998) making his acting and writing debut.
Nas releases his 3rd studio album I Am…
Nas releases his 4th studio album Nastradamus.
Nas & Ill Will Records Presents QB’s Finest was released, which was a compilation album that featured other Queensbridge artists.
A feud between Nas and Jay Z becomes public and each releases songs detailing their disagreement.
Nas releases Stillmatic, which featured the hit singles, “Got You Self A…” and “One Mic.”
Columbia Records releases The Lost Tapes, a collection of unreleased songs by Nas. Both critics and fans received the album positively.
Nas releases “God’s Son.” It was named the best hip-hop album of the year by Time Magazine.
Nas releases “Street Disciple,” his 7th studio album.
Nas released his 8th studio album "Hiphop is Dead."
Nas released his 9th studio album Untitled. The Album was originally to be titled "Nigger," but following controversy surrounding the title; Nas renamed the project to ensure it would reach the masses.
Nas performs his song Sly Fox on the Colbert Show as a criticism of what he considered racist portrayals of blacks in general and Barack and Michelle Obama in particular.
Nas collaborates with Damien Marley to release the album Distant Relatives.
Nas releases his 10th studio album "Life is Good."
Harvard University establishes the Nasir Jones Hiphop Fellowship. This is the first fellowship in the country named after a Hiphop artist.
"Nas: Time is Illmatic documentary" is released covering what lead to the release of the album.
Nas receives the Du Bois Medal from Harvard University. Awarded since 2000, the Du Bois Medal is Harvard's highest honor in the field of African and African American Studies. It is awarded to individuals in the U.S. and across the globe in recognition of their contributions to African American culture and the life of the mind. Recipients have included scholars, artists, writers, journalists, philanthropists, and administrators whose work has bolstered the field of African and African American Studies.