Born in Queens, New York, on September 14, 1973, rapper Nasir Bin Olu Dara Jones, better known by his stage name Nas, was the son of a jazz musician Olu Hara and postal service worker Fannie Ann Jones.
As a teenager, Nas went by the nickname “Kid Wave” before adopting a more common alias, “Nasty Nas”, but he eventually dropped the word “Nasty”. He performed and produced songs as a street artist, but his luck came in 1992, with the help of MC Serch of 3rd Bass, with his song "Half Time". This song appeared on a movie soundtrack, bringing him the attention of Columbia Records, which resulted in a contract deal.
Since 1994, Nas has released eight consecutive platinum and multi-platinum albums and sold over 25 million records worldwide. MTV ranked him at number 5 on their list of The Greatest MCs of All Time. In 2012, The Source ranked him No. 2 on their list of the Top 50 Lyricists of All Time.