As the documentary Time is Illmatic is making its rounds, here are 10 facts you may not have known about Nasir Jones aka Nas, as he celebrates the 20th anniversary of his debut album, Illmatic.
1. Nas released his debut album, Illmatic, 20 years ago on April 19, 1994.
2. The rapper was nominated for a Grammy 13 times.
3. His full name is Nasir bin Olu Dara Jones.
4. He represents Queensbridge, New York, but was born in Crown Heights, a neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York.
5. He was introduced to the hip-hop world as Nasty Nas, but his first moniker was Kid Wave.
6. In July 2013, Harvard University established the Nasir Jones Hip-Hop Fellowship, which will serve to fund scholars and artists who show potential and creativity in the arts in connection to hip-hop.
7. Nas is an investor and associate publisher of Mass Appeal.
8. He is part Nigerian. His jazz musician father, Olu Dara, is of Yoruba descent.
9. In 2006, Nas was ranked fifth on MTV’s “10 Greatest MCs of All Time” list.
10. In May of this year, Nas partnered with job placement startup Koru to fund a scholarship for 10 college graduates to go through Koru’s training program.