NAZ AN SPIRITUAL COMPREHENSION
THROUGH RAP MUSIC
This article was compiled by Jodi Phillips May 2014, for the Institute of Black Academics
concerning Black Under achievement.
PUBLISHED 09 MAY 2014 04:26
Nas is a son of jazz musician Olu Hara and postal service worker Fannie Ann Jones. He was born on September 14, 1973 and raised in the Queensbridge housing projects in New York City. He started playing trumpet at age four and began writing rhymes at age nine. From learning jazz music, he slowly switched his direction to Hip-Hop after a neighbor Willy "Ill Will" Graham introduced him to such genre.
His parent got divorce when he was just twelve years old and he was dropped out of school in the eighth grade. He traded classroom with rough life on the streets of Queensbridge and learned a lot of things from there. He even educated himself by reading books about other countries' cultures. His experience of flirting with danger on the streets combined with his dedication not to stop learning had helped him characterizing his rhymes.
As a teenager, Nas whose original name is Nasir bin Olu Dara Jones first went by the nickname Kid Wave before adopting a more common alias, Nasty Nas and then dropping the word Nasty. He performed and produced songs as a street artist and secured a deal with Columbia Records in 1992 with the help from MC Serch of 3rd Bass.
Nas got an opportunity to showcase his talent as an artist to a broader audience when he was tapped to perform "Halftime", a soundtrack for movie "Zebrahead". Through this track, he received attention from Hip-Hop community. In 1994, the same year his ex-fiancee Carmen Bryan gave birth to his first daughter Destiny, he released a debut album called "Illmatic" which rose to No. 12 on Billboard Hot 200 and garnered positive review from music lovers.
With such a good start, he continued making music and dropped another effort "It Was Written" two years later. With this record, he soared higher on the U.S. albums chart, peaking at the No. 1 position. Beside becoming his first chart topper, this album was also his platform to showcase his rap supergroup which was signed to Dr. Dre's Aftermath label and consisted of AZ, Foxy Brown and Cormega. [Source : http://www.aceshowbiz.com/celebrity/nas/biography.html#ixzz3NPGmI9qC].