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Nas initially went by the nickname "Kid Wave" before adopting his more commonly known alias of "Nasty Nas". In the lates, he met up with the producer Large Professor and went to the studio where Rakim and Kool G Rap were recording their albums. When they were not in the recording studio, Nas would go into the booth and record his own material. However, none of it was ever released. In mid, Nas was approached by MC Serch of 3rd Bass , who became his manager and secured Nas a record deal with Columbia Records during the same year. In , Nas's debut album, Illmatic , was finally released. It was awarded best album of by The Source. Nas, the poetic sage of the Queensbridge projects, was hailed as the second coming of Rakim —as if the first had reached his expiration date. Illmatic stood on its own terms. The sublime lyricism of the CD, combined with the fact that it was delivered into the crucible of the boiling East-West conflict, quickly solidified [his] reputation as the premier writer of his time. Mainstream direction and the Firm[ edit ] Further information: Kelly were instant hits. On the other hand, references to Scarface protagonist Tony Montana notwithstanding, Illmatic was more about his early life growing up in the projects. Dre 's Aftermath Entertainment label, the Firm began working on their debut album. Halfway through the production of the album, Cormega was fired from the group by Steve Stoute , who had unsuccessfully attempted to force Cormega to sign a deal with his management company. Cormega subsequently became one of Nas's most vocal opponents and released a number of underground hip hop singles " dissing " Nas, Stoute, and Nature , who replaced Cormega as the fourth member of the Firm. The Album was finally released in to mixed reviews. The album failed to live up to its expected sales, despite being certified platinum, and the members of the group disbanded to go their separate ways. Dre Presents the Aftermath. Inconsistent output[ edit ] See also: The Autobiography; he intended it as the middle ground between Illmatic and It Was Written , with each track detailing a part of his life. The Autobiography was completed in early , and a music video was shot for its lead single, " Nas Is Like ". DiBella noticed that Nas also covered "politics, the state of hip-hop, Y2K , race , and religion with his own unique perspective" in the album besides autobiographical lyrics. The video featured Nas and Combs being crucified in a manner similar to Jesus Christ; after the video was completed, Combs requested his crucifixion scene be edited out of the video. Within minutes of the broadcast, Combs and his bodyguards allegedly made their way into Steve Stoute 's office and assaulted him, at one point apparently hitting Stoute over the head with a champagne bottle. Stoute pressed charges, but he and Combs settled out-of-court that June. Nastradamus was therefore rushed to meet a November release date. Though critics were not kind to the album, it did result in a minor hit, " You Owe Me ". Dispute with Jay-Z and artistic comeback[ edit ] Nas performing in Further information: God's Son album After trading veiled criticisms on various songs, freestyles and mixtape appearances, the highly publicised dispute between Nas and Jay-Z became widely known to the public in Evans from the sitcom Good Times and cigarette company mascot Joe Camel. The song was included on Nas's fifth studio album, Stillmatic , released in December His daughter, Destiny, is listed as an executive producer on Stillmatic so she can always receive royalty checks from the album. Billboard chart and featured the singles " Got Ur Self A Both the dispute and Stillmatic signalled an artistic comeback for Nas after a string of inconsistent albums. The collection attained respectable sales and received rave reviews from critics. The album peaked at No. Vibe gave it four stars and The Source gave it four mics. God's Son also includes several songs dedicated to Nas's mother, who died of cancer in April , including "Dance". God's Son was critical in the power struggle between Nas and Jay-Z in the hip-hop industry at the time. With God's Son, Nas has the opportunity to cement his status as the King of NY, at least for another year term, or he could prove that he is not the savior that hip-hop fans should be pinning their hopes on. Double album and Def Jam[ edit ] See also: Street's Disciple Nas released his seventh album Street's Disciple , a sprawling double album,  on November 30, It addressed subject matter both political and personal, including his impending marriage to recording artist Kelis. Politicized efforts and controversies[ edit ] See also: Both progressive commentators, such as Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton , and the conservative-aligned news channel Fox News were outraged; Jackson called on entertainers to stop using the epithet after comedian Michael Richards used it onstage in late All you old niggas' time is up. We heard your voice, we saw your marching, we heard your sermons. We don't want to hear that shit no more. It's a new day. It's a new voice. We don't need Jesse; I'm here. We the voice now. It's no more Jesse. You ain't helping nobody in the 'hood and that's the bottom line. It's important to me that this album gets to the fans. It's been a long time coming. I want my fans to know that creatively and lyrically, they can expect the same content and the same messages. The people will always know what the real title of this album is and what to call it. It featured production from Polow da Don , stic. Myers,  " Hero ", the album's lead single released on June 23, , reached No. Dre —simultaneously the same day. Dre's studio album Detox. During his Talking Points Memo segment for August 15, , an argument erupted in which O'Reilly claimed that it was not only Nas's lyrical content that made him inappropriate for the event, citing the gun conviction on Nas's criminal record. He's got a weapons conviction, sir! This is a school that had a mass murderer with a shotgun gunning down people—this guy has got a conviction for weapons, and you say he's appropriate? About two weeks later, Nas was interviewed by Shaheem Reid of MTV News, where he criticised O'Reilly, calling him uncivilized and willing to go to extremes for publicity. He doesn't understand the younger generation. He deals with the past. The people he represents are Republican, older, a generation that has nothing to do with the reality of what's happening now with my generation. He's not really on my radar. People like him are supposed to be taught and people like me are supposed to let niggas like him know. I don't take him serious. His shit is all about getting facts twisted or whatever. I wouldn't honor anything Bill O'Reilly has to say. It just shows you what bloodsuckers like him do: They abuse something like the Virginia Tech tragedy for show ratings. You can't talk to a person like that. Nas said of the collaboration in an interview "I was a big fan of his father and of course all the children, all the offspring, and Damian, I kind of looked at Damian as a rap guy. His stuff is not really singing, or if he does, it comes off more hard, like on some street shit. I always liked how reggae and hip-hop have always been intertwined and always kind of pushed each other, I always liked the connection. I'd worked with people before from the reggae world but when I worked with Damian, the whole workout was perfect". D, and released on July 13, Nas called the album a "magic moment" in his rap career. We'd talked about it and we had a good idea to call it Nas. That was actually going to be a mixtape at one point. But we decided that we should make it an album. In January , Nas announced he had begun working on his twelfth studio album, which would be his final album for Def Jam. Time Is Illmatic was premiered which recounted circumstances leading up to Nas's debut album. They released the track "I Am Somebody" in May Nas was announced as one of the executive producers of the Netflix original series, The Get Down , prior to its release in August He narrated the series and rapped as adult Ezekiel of He also appeared on DJ Khaled 's album Major Key, on a track simply titled "Nas Album Done", suggesting an upcoming album was not only completed, but also was imminent. In June , Nas appeared in the award-winning documentary The American Epic Sessions directed by Bernard MacMahon , where he recorded live direct-to-disc on the restored first electrical sound recording system from the s. Original Motion Picture Soundtrack on June 9, In his book Book of Rhymes: The Poetics of Hip Hop , writer Adam Bradley states, "Nas is perhaps contemporary rap's greatest innovator in storytelling. Nas created a style of rapping that was more conversational than ever before". Nas also will be joining the startup as a guest coach.
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