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Nas, born Nasir bin Olu Dara Jones on September 14, 1973, is the son of Olu Dara, an unconventional jazz musician. At age nine he was a member of the Devastatin’ Seven in the mid-1980s, the fruits of which can be heard on his 1994 debut, “Illmatic,” which was released on Columbia/SME later that year. It attracted attention for its depiction of ghetto life and Nas’ refusal to include the misogyny and violence evident in some hip-hop. Nas’s first appearance on record was on Main Source’s classic “Live at the Barbecue.” However, his big break came when former 3rd Bass member ‘MC Serch’ included his verse in “Halftime” on the soundtrack of Zebrahead (1992), which led to a management deal with Serch’s management company, Serchlight Productions. Nas’s follow-up albums are “It Was Written,” “I Am…,” “Nastradamus,” “Stillmatic,” “From Illmatic to Stillmatic,” “The Lost Tapes Vol. 1,” and “God’s Son.”

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