From Rap Dictionary
Raised in the Queensbridge housing projects in Long Island City, Nas has, throughout various times during his career, also gone by the stagenames of Nasty Nas, Nas Escobar (after Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar), God's Son, King of New York, and Nastradamus (after Nostradamus). Nas has also developed various backronyms for his name, including Not All Surrender and Niggaz Against Society.
The son of Mississippi-born jazz trumpeter Olu Dara, and his late wife, the former Fannie Ann Little (who died from breast cancer), Nas is best known for his 1994 debut LP Illmatic, widely considered one of the greatest hip-hop albums of all time.
This album established Nas as one of hip-hop's most praised lyricists, introducing his signature poetic style. However, in the years following the release of Illmatic, Nas pursued a more commercial direction, which resulted in wider success but decreased artistic credibility among critics and hip-hop purists.
Furthermore, Nas' increased commercial success was accompanied by stylistic changes that fostered accusations of "selling out". Nevertheless, a rivalry with Brooklyn rapper Jay-Z in 2001, led to the LP Stillmatic, which is often credited for restoring Nas' critical reputation. Since the success of Stillmatic, Nas has pursued a decidedly street-level, personal aesthetic.
While Nas' current artistic direction differs greatly from his most successful work, it has ensured that he remains one of the most respected and acclaimed contemporary rappers within the hip hop community.
It Was Written
Hip Hop Is Dead
Untitled (Originally called 'Nigger' but when stores refused to sell it under that title, he was forced to rename it.)