His matrilineal DNA haplogroup is of African origin, found among the Yoruba As a young child, Nas and his family relocated to the Queensbridge Houses in the Long Island City neighborhood of Queens.His neighbor, Willy "Ill Will" Graham, influenced his interest in hip hop by playing him records.Columbia Records began to press Nas to work towards more commercial topics, such as that of The Notorious B. G., who had become successful by releasing street singles that still retained radio-friendly appeal.In 1995, Nas did guest performances on the albums Doe or Die by AZ, The Infamous by The Infamous Mobb Deep, Only Built 4 Cuban Linx by Raekwon and 4,5,6 by Kool G Rap.Nas's follow-up It Was Written debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200, stayed on top for 4 consecutive weeks, went Double Platinum in 2 months, and made Nas internationally known.From 2001-2005, Nas was involved in a highly publicized feud with Jay-Z. In 2010, he released Distant Relatives, a collaboration album with Damian Marley, donating all royalties to charities active in Africa.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.
The son of Olu Dara, Nas has released eight consecutive platinum and multi-platinum albums and has sold over 25 million records worldwide.In the late-1980s, 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. In 1991, Nas performed on Main Source's "Live at the Barbeque".his rhyming skills attracted a significant amount of attention within the hip-hop community.In 1994, Nas's debut album, Illmatic, was finally released. It also featured production from Large Professor, Pete Rock, Q-Tip, LES and DJ Premier, as well as guest appearances from Nas's friend AZ and his father Olu Dara.MTV ranked him at #5 on their list of "The Greatest MCs of All Time".