- Full Name: Nasir Bin Olu Dara Jones
- Born: September 14, 1973
- Place of Birth: Brooklyn, New York
- Occupation: Rapper, actor, record producer
- Marital Status: Divorced
Nas’s Net Worth History
The son of jazz musician Olu Dara started playing the trumpet at age four and writing songs at nine. He gained public attention as a “child prodigy” with a performance in 1991, released a hit single in 1992, and has since recorded eight platinum albums. He’s also invested in several businesses, including food, drink, clothes, shoes, magazines, and technology. Nas’s net worth has been higher (he recently admitted having owed, and paid, about $6 million in back taxes) but, at $17 million, he’s still rich, and nowhere close to retirement age.
Nas’s middle names literally mean “Son of Olu Dara.” His parents moved from Brooklyn to Queens, where Nasir Jones grew up in the Queensbridge Houses. Schoolmates changed “Nasir” to “Nasty”; between 1985 and 1991, when his parents were divorced and he was neither rich nor famous, the rapper experimented with “Nasty Nas” as one of several stage names. He dropped out of school after the eighth grade and explored the seamy side of life while working his way into local celebrity as a musician.
When the single “Halftime” attracted public attention to Nas, he was already working on his first platinum album, “Illmatic.” This was followed by “It Was Written,” “I Am,” “Nastradamus,” “Stillmatic,” “From Illmatic to Stillmatic,” “The Lost Tapes,” and “God’s Son.” There was also “Hip Hop Is Dead,” which merely reached gold album sales levels, not platinum. Then there was an album initially titled with an offensive word Nas uses frequently in speech and raps. Corporate officials persuaded Nas and the studio staff not to give the album a name distributors would not want to be heard saying out loud, so the album was released with no title. It, too, became a gold album, but not platinum. By Nas standards, his latest album, “Life Is Good,” is a weak seller–still below 400,000 sales, rather than four million.
Controversy is publicity in rap. Nas publicly talked back to Jesse Jackson and Bill O’Reilly, and engaged in a well publicized “feud” with Jay-Z. Although Carmen Bryan, the mother of Jay-Z’s daughter, apparently had intimate relationships with both young men, Nas and Jay-Z later staged a reconciliation concert and have since collaborated on recordings. Nas later dated Mary G. Blige before his marriage to Kelis, which lasted almost five years.
Nas’s investments include Mass Appeal magazine, Fila shoes, the Rock The Bells music festival, 12Society.com online retail, the Proven job search app, Viral Gains video launch, Sweet Chick restaurant, Hennessy liquor, LANDR audio software, and HSTRY clothing. His professional-looking web site markets the clothes and shoes, the albums, and tickets to performances that have not yet sold out. (When checked for the purpose of this article, the web site indicated that tickets to smaller, less popular venues may be available about a month in advance.) The site also features a multilingual “Blog” where fans discuss Nas’s raps, reviews, and performances.
Nas has lost money in the past few years. His net worth was estimated at about $30 million before some of these investments were made, at about $20 million before the IRS audit and payment of back taxes. He has also put some time and money into scholarship and job training programs. Perhaps nobody can sustain the record Nas has set for music sales forever, but since Nas still has his voice, face, rhyming talent, sense of what he can get away with among his target audience, and now a widely diversified range of business interests, he seems to expect to remain rich and become richer.