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Nas Dropped ‘Illmatic’ In 1994 — 30 Years, 17 Grammy Nods, And 44 Personal Investments Later, His $70M Fortune Proves He’s At The Top Of His Game

2024 marks a significant time in Hip-Hop history as the 30th anniversary of “Illmatic” — Nas’ debut album. The 1994 release brought the world classic songs like “The World Is Yours” and “One Love.” Since then, the native New York rapper has cemented himself in history as one of Hip-Hop’s elite voices. Born Nasir Jones, Nas started his journey as a prominent figure in Hip-Hop after the release of his 1992 single “Halftime,” appearing on the soundtrack for “Zebrahead,” a film centered around interracial dating. “Illmatic” would follow, and Nas would go on to produce several other top-charting albums. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Nasir Jones (@nas) An Iconic Rap Career Nas’ musical prowess has earned him a staggering 17 Grammy nominations. His recent win in 2021 for Best Rap Album with “King’s Disease” is a testament to his enduring talent and relevance in the industry. It is safe to assume that his multi-decade music career made most of Nas’ foundational wealth...

Apr 19, 2024

Nas, Resorts World NYC Unveil A $5B Proposal He Says Could Give 'New Opportunities To The Hard-Working Families' In His Hometown Of Queens

Nas is spearheading a plan to change the landscape of New York City. The music icon has partnered with Resorts World Casino New York City and its parent company, Genting America East, to revitalize his beloved Queens neighborhood. As reported by Commercial Observer, Genting America East executives, including the artist, shared plans for a $5 billion redevelopment endeavor to transform the Resorts World establishment into a “Las Vegas-style casino.” The blueprint for the project includes amenities such as 30 new opportunities for food and beverage vendors, a 7,000-seat performance space, and 1,600 new hotel rooms inside the existing Hyatt Regency at John F. Kennedy International Airport. Genting America East also proposed a 350,000-square-foot extension of the Resorts World casino floor. If approved, the move would position the casino as the largest gambling establishment globally, per the outlet. Beyond revenue-generating additions, the proposal includes housing units that could...

Mar 1, 2024

Nas, Steve Stoute, Ben Horowitz, And More Join To Award $500K To Hip-Hop 'Contributors Who Didn’t Get What They Deserved'

It’s one thing to put the spotlight on Hip-Hop culture, but it’s another to properly give its pioneers their dues. Nas, Steve Stoute, Andreessen Horowitz co-founder Ben Horowitz, and his wife, Felicia Horowitz, have joined forces to not only pay homage to Hip-Hop greats but also provide financial support. The group is behind the first-ever Hip Hop Grandmaster Awards, which is set to honor artists Rakim and Scarface, according to The Paid in Full Foundation’s website. Of the event’s proceeds, 100% w ill go to the foundation’s programs “ to support hip hop greats and other creatives.”

Oct 23, 2023

Nas' Mass Appeal Sued After Its Former Head Of Development Claims She Experienced 'Venomous And Racist Comments'

Nas’ multimedia company is entangled in a lawsuit. On Oct. 17, 2023, Mass Appeal was sued by Melissa Cooper, the company’s former head of development, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The lawsuit, which was filed in Manhattan, NY, claims that the white executive faced racial discrimination including “venomous and racist comments about ‘White folk’ and ‘crackers.’” Following the alleged discriminatory comments, Cooper was fired from Mass Appeal in June 2023.

Oct 18, 2023

M.C. Serch Details How He Landed Nas 50 Percent Of The Publishing On Jay-Z's 'Dead Presidents'

This may be the plot twist of all plot twists! M.C. Serch is breaking down the ins and outs of music publishing by recalling a deal in which he landed Nas an ownership stake in Jay-Z’s debut album.

Nov 22, 2022

MC Serch Reveals He's Selling His Share Of Nas' Music Catalog, Including The Artist's Debut Album

It looks like Nas’ music catalog could soon be up for grabs if the price is right. MC Serch reveals that he has begun taking offers for the sale of his ownership stake in the New York native’s catalog, which includes his debut album, “Illmatic,” and  his sophomore album “It Was Written,” HipHopDX reports.

Oct 18, 2022

The Late Tupac Shakur's Restaurant Concept Is Set To Make Its Way To Los Angeles For A Limited Time

Fans will get a more in-depth look into the life of iconic rapper Tupac Shakur, thanks to an incoming soul food restaurant debuting in Los Angeles, CA, for a limited time only. AllHipHop reports The Shakur Estate will be opening the Powamekka Café in honor of the life and legacy of the late Shakur. The vision will be brought to light in partnership with Fixins Soul Kitchen and will be located near the Wake Me When I’m Free exhibit at LA Live.

Jun 14, 2022

Since Nas Is Being Sued For Posting A Photo Of Himself — Here's A Short Lesson On Copyright Law

Considering the circumstances, it wouldn’t be surprising if photographer Al Pereira isn’t exactly well-liked in the world of Hip-Hop. As AfroTech previously reported, the photographer is taking rapper Nas to court after the Queens native shared a photo of himself with Tupac Shakur and Redman on Instagram without explicitly asking for permission or compensation from Pereira himself. Al Pereira registered the copyright for the photo in 2017, and Nas shared the photo to social media in 2020. The photo was initially taken outside of Club Amazon in New York City in 1993. In his lawsuit, Pereira claims that Nas was trying to profit off of his work by posting the photo, while also using the photo to “increase his social media status.” “Selling these licenses of his art is reportedly how Pereira makes a living, and because Nas freely posted the image online, the photographer argued that the picture has lost some of its value. It is unclear what damages Pereira is seeking at this time. Nas...

Nas Is Being Taken To Federal Court After Posting An Instagram Photo Of Him, Tupac, And Redman

Taking a trip down memory lane has gotten Nas wrapped up in a new lawsuit. After posting a photo of him, Tupac, and Redman from July 1993 to his Instagram, Hip-Hop photographer Al Pereira filed a lawsuit against him in February for sharing it without permission or licensing the work, according to HotNewHipHop. The popular photo was uploaded by the rap legend in 2020, which is three years after Pereira registered copyright, according to the outlet. He claims that the Instagram post took away from his work’s worth. Court documents reportedly show that Pereira “accused Nas of ‘profiting from the work’ while ‘using it to increase his social media status.'” Nas has yet to comment on the lawsuit.

Mar 7, 2022

Nas, Lil Baby, Gunna Invest In $60M Series A Funding Round For A Metaverse Real Estate Company

Another day, another announcement of rappers dominating in the metaverse. On Feb. 10, Nas, Lil Baby, Gunna, and Baby Keem were participants in a $60 million Series A financing round for Everyrealm — a metaverse real estate company, Music Business Worldwide reports. The round was led by Andreessen Horowitz and included investors such as Coinbase Ventures, NGC Ventures, Dragonfly Capital, Hashed, Lightspeed Venture Partners, and more. The investments from the leading firms “marks one of the largest Series A rounds for a company led by a female CEO,” according to the company. Everyrealm’s CEO is Janine Yorio and is co-founded by TJ Kawamura, Julia Schwartz, Jesse Stein, and Kostas Ketikidis. Since its inception in 2021, the company has been a force in virtual real estate with holdings in 25 metaverse platforms, over 100 developed projects, and over 3,000 non-fungible tokens (NFTs). “Everyrealm creates innovative and addictive social spaces that are futuristic and interactive like video...

Feb 14, 2022

Nas Invests In $20M Funding Round For African Mobile Games Publisher Carry1st

The African continent is the next stop for Nas’ investment portfolio. Bloomberg reports that the rapper has joined Andreessen Horowitz in a $20 million funding round for Carry1st, an African mobile games publisher. Google, Avenir Growth Capital, Riot Games, Konvoy Ventures, Raine Ventures, and TTV Capital were also investors in the round.  

Jan 19, 2022

Pete Rock Prepares To File Lawsuit Against Nas For His Contributions To 'Illmatic'

This is a case of Hip-Hop royalties gone wrong. Complex reports that legendary producer Pete Rock has plans in motion to sue rapper Nas over a claim of unpaid royalties for his involvement with the production of “Illmatic.” In the claims, Pete Rock alleges that he was never paid for his work on the groundbreaking album that was released in 1994. Not only did he produce the renowned track “The World Is Yours,” but he is also credited for helping to write the hit. “Nas and his people have stonewalled me since 1994,” said Pete Rock in an interview with Page Six. “My New Year’s resolution is to be compensated for my hard work on Illmatic.”

Jan 12, 2022

Nas May Be Offering Fractional Ownership Of His Music — But For Him, 'This Isn't Really For The Money'

Nas was in a Twitter Space earlier today talking about the importance of his partnership with Royal, and he explained how this partnership wasn’t about the money for him. Instead, it was about empowering people to make financial decisions best suited for them. Join the party and tune into @Twitter Spaces live today at 2PM ET / 11AM PT 🌐🔐 THE DROPS ⬇️ 💎 Ultra Black: 1PM ET / 10AM PT 💎 Rare: 9PM ET / 6PM PT — MASS APPEAL (@MassAppeal) January 11, 2022 “Fractional ownership probably means a lot more to a lot of other artists than it does for me, but this isn’t really for the money for me,” Nas said on Twitter Spaces. “This is just a way to see how doing something like this can build and expand with the core base that I got and encourage artists.” For Royal CEO, co-founder, and renowned electronic artist Justin “3LAU” Blau, the partnership with Nas also meant democratizing the opportunity for NFT ownership, which can prove cost-prohibitive for the average...

You'll Soon Be Able To Have Streaming Royalty Rights To Two Of Nas’ Tracks

The culture seems to continue to thrive in the cryptocurrency world. According to Complex, Hip-Hop icon Nas just teamed up with Royal, a blockchain-powered platform that allows fans the opportunity to invest in their favorite artists’ music. Together, they will sell extended versions of nonfungible tokens (NFTs) called limited digital assets, which include streaming royalty rights to two of Nas’ tracks.

Jan 6, 2022

Did You Know That These Celebrities Have Their Own Investment Firms?

Investment firms are a necessary part of the business world. But did you know that these celebrities helm up their own? From a tennis legend to several rappers, these twelve celebs are redefining what the names and faces of investment firms look like. No longer tied to “old-money white wealth” like Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, and Bank Of New York Mellon, these celebrities have proven that investments made back into the Black community pay off in much larger dividends…and cultivate goodwill in the long run. For example, Karan Wadhera — the managing partner for Snoop Dogg’s Casa Verde — even left his position in the “traditional” investment firm world to work with the legendary Doggfather on his venture. He told TechCrunch that he was driven to do so to shift people’s focus onto things that weren’t getting enough attention at the time (in Casa Verde’s case, Black ownership and cannabis investment). “We have a decent-size checkbook and a fairly high profile in this space, so we see...