He’s a hip hop icon who’s provocative lyrics changed the rap game forever. Nas rose form the unforgiving streets of New York. He became the bold voice of a new generation. Nas became the hood’s manifesto. But with success came rivalry. As Nas battled the West and went to war in the East. Nas was at the height of his career but his world fell apart after losing his mother and a divorce with the love of his life Kelis. Resilient the street’s disciple picked up the pieces and came back stronger than ever. 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.Since 1994, Nas has released eight consecutive platinum and multi-platinum albums and sold over 25 million records worldwide. Aside from rapping and acting, Nas is an entrepreneur through his own record label, retail sneaker store, and magazine publishing. His net worth today is $25 million in 2013.
Nas was born Nasir bin Olu Dara Jones in Queens New York. His father was a Jazz musician and while he was away most of the time on tour his mom raised him on her own. His father was unfaithful to his mom which lead to their divorce. With his father out of the house he grew close to his best friend Ill Will Graham. They shared a love of hip hop and they would go to several parks and practice break dancing on card boards but the microphone was where he found his calling. He went by the rap name Kid Wave before being called Nasty Nas. When he was 15 he dropped out of school to pursue his career in hip hop. It devasted his mother but it would become the greatest decision he ever made.
In 1992 he secured a deal with Columbia Records and he dropped his debut album Illmatic in 1994. The album was awarded 5 mics from the Source Magazine. Years later the album has stood the test of time. Prefix named it the “best hip hop record ever made.” In 2008 About.Com ranked it number 1 on “100 Greatest Hip Hop Albums”. Spin Magazine ranked it number 17 on the “Top 100 Albums of the Last 20 Years.” That same year Nas’s ex-fiancée Carmen Bryan gave birth to their daughter, Destiny. Nas also dated Mary J. Blige in 1995 for two years.
Nas went on to release 10 albums selling over 25 million records worldwide. In 2009 his wife Kelis filed for divorce from him. Kelis gave birth to their son Knight just four months earlier. The divorce became public scrutiny and put a halt in his career. The divorce settlement was reached and he was to pay $40,000 in child support and $50,000 in alimony payments. That same year the U.S. Internal Revenue Service filed a federal tax lien against Nas for over $2.5 million, seeking unpaid taxes dating back to 2006. He had earned over $8 million in 2006 alone but failed to document all of his earnings from album sales and touring. In 2010 to 2011 he earned over $6 million from album and single sales of his tenth album Life is Good and previous albums but his royalties were garnished for $6.4 million to satisfy his tax lien. He had earned over $70 million in his career but after the divorce and tax judgement his net worth today is $25 million.