Nas Paris Hip Hop 2014 coupdoreille: Photo Credit Flickr User Coup d'Oreille

Having released 8 consecutive platinum or multi-platinum albums, with over 25 million record sales worldwide Nas is a king of the hip hop game. Nasir Bin Olu Dara Jones has been killing it since 1991, having made his name in the underground even before. As a hip hop mogul, the man’s business acumen is as sharp as the beats he spits- today he owns major investments in Lyft, Dropbox and more. Bringing the banger back, it none of it could have started without his dedication to the game, and hip hop style.

Nas spits fire, with a lyrical style described as "able to evoke the bleak reality of ghetto life without losing hope or forgetting the good times” (Steve Huey, AllMusic), and that’s exactly what the Queensbridge rapper did for the community. Evoking a lyrical quality that was both highly fluid and highly literate, he was able to connect with the community of the projects and give them hope for something more.

By 95’ Nas was hitting more mainstream appeal, dropping tracks that his then label Columbia Records hoped could draw the same mainstream appeal as Biggie’s radio-friendly raps- It Was Written did exactly that. Under the guidance of Steve Stoute, Nas released If I Ruled The World, Street Dreams and other classics, that became instant hits.

From Aftermath records to dropping tracks with Diddy, from 1996-2000 Nas was labeled inconsistent by the community- yeah there were a few releases with Mobb Deep and You Owe Me, it wasn’t until 2001 that Nas was elevated above a hit or miss rapper. Enter- the Jay Z beef.

After dropping veiled disses on mixtapes and freestyles, the two came out into the open with their criticisms- Stillmatic was born, with Got Yourself A Gun and One Mic coming on one of the hottest albums of all time. Eminem cited Nas and Jay Z as top spitters in his massively successful Till I Collapse track, while God’s Son managed to cement Nas as the head of NY hip hop for another 4 years after its release.

With his storied past, Nas is known as a sharp spitter, but how about his style? Just scope the dope bling bling chains around his neck and you’ll know the truth of his image and words. This man came up from the bottom, now he’s here with the whole crew decked in iced out pendants and pure fire Jesus pieces. Scope that bigass baller ring on his hands, set right next to the custom iced out watch- Nas is a player both in name and stature, cementing him as one of the hottest spitters of all time.

Since, Nas has dropped a few top albums including Street’s Disciple and Hip Hop is Dead, collaborated with some of today’s hottest rappers (DJ Khaled, Kanye, looking at you), has dropped some dope collabs and spends more time in the business market investing than he does the studio. His latest album Nasir dropped recently to mixed reviews, but shows the veteran rapper still kills it in whatever he chooses to do.

Nas Discography

  • Studio Albums
  • Illmatic
    • Released: April 19, 1994
    • Label: Columbia
    • Formats: CD, LP, cassette, digital download
  • It Was Written
    • Released: July 2, 1996
    • Label: Columbia
    • Formats: CD, LP, CS, digital download
  • I Am…
    • Released: April 6, 1999
    • Label: Columbia
    • Formats: CD, LP, CS, digital download
  • Nastradmus
    • Released: November 23, 1999
    • Label: Ill Will, Columbia
    • Formats: CD, LP, CS, digital download
  • Stillmatic
    • Released: December 18, 2001
    • Label: Ill Will, Columbia
    • Formats: CD, LP, CS, digital download
  • God’s Son
    • Released: December 13, 2002
    • Label: Ill Will, Columbia
    • Formats: CD, LP, CS, digital download
  • Street’s Disciple
    • Released: November 30, 2004
    • Label: Ill Will, Columbia
    • Formats: CD, LP, digital download
  • Hip Hop Is Dead
    • Released: December 19, 2006
    • Label: Def Jam
    • Formats: CD, LP, digital download
  • Untitled
    • Released: July 15, 2008
    • Label: Def Jam
    • Formats: CD, LP, digital download
  • Life Is Good
    • Released: July 17, 2012
    • Label: Def Jam
    • Formats: CD, LP, digital download
  • Nasir
    • Released: June 15, 2018
    • Label: Mass Appeal, Def Jam
    • Formats: CD, LP, cassette, digital download