Last week Complex did a 50 Things You Don’t Know About Jay-Z, so now they did a 50 Things You Don’t Know About Nas. It’s an interesting read to say the least. Did you know the following fifty things about rapper Nas?
50. He did Illmatic’s “N.Y. State of Mind” in one take.
49. He was offered and declined an audition for the lead in Save The Last Dance.
48. His daughter Destiny is listed as an Executive Producer on Stillmatic so she can always receive royalty checks from the album.
47. He sold a painting he had just completed for $14,000 at Art Basel Miami. The profits went to charity.
46. Large Professor would bring Nas to studio sessions during the making of Eric B. & Rakim’s Let the Rhythm Hit ‘Em.
45. Russell Simmons thought Illmaticwould be a commercial flop, and that Nas sounded too much like Kool G Rap.
44. He wrote a screenplay called Scared and put up his own money to hire a cast and crew to shoot the film. He claims to have a copy of it on VHS but never intends to release it.
43. His advance was worth $17,000 after signing with Columbia Records.
42. He used to call himself Kid Wave.
41. “Live nicca Rap” was originally Mobb Deep’s record for Hell on Earth, but Nas bought it from them so he could use it on It Was Written.
40. Columbia Records had to redesign Nas’ website in 1996 after the bulletin board section became overrun with racist messages.
39. It Was Written was supposed to be produced entirely by Marley Marl, but the idea fell through when Nas heard unfinished songs on the radio.
38. 50 Cent was briefly in Nas’ Firm crew, but left after it didn’t work out.
37. The original version of “Ether” was produced by Swizz Beatz.
36. God’s Son originally was an all-out battle record with Nas dissing nearly every popular rapper at the time, but he reconsidered and scrapped all of the songs.
35. He admits he messed up a lyric on “The Set Up” because he was too high
34. To get the stars amped up, Hype Williams would have Nas, DMX, and others run around a building during the filming of Belly.
33. Ill Will introduced Nas to Chinese food by telling him to stick a plate out his window and dropping the food from the apartment above him.
32. He was supposed to be on The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill but couldn’t make the studio sessions.
31. Illmatic was so heavily bootlegged that MC Serch claims they found a garage with 60,000 copies of bootleg Illmatic albums before the album’s release.
30. He got rid of his Lexus because he wanted to get a better car than Jay-Z’s.
29. He recorded “Ghetto Dreams” on a handheld mic rather with a traditional studio booth set-up.
28. Mobb Deep formally introduced Nas to Raekwon and Ghostface k!llah.
27. “Nas Is Like” almost didn’t happen because DJ Premier had planned on throwing out the record with the sample on it.
26. He meet Kelis at Cipriani in 2002 during Diddy’s MTV VMAs afterparty.
25. During the height of his feud with Jay-Z, Nas called the Roots “sambos,” “hypocrites,” and “porch monkeys” on Hot 97 for performing with Jay on MTV’s Unplugged.
24. I Am was supposed to have skits, but before Nas could record them someone walked into the studio with a bootleg copy of the album.
23. He had to talk Pete Rock into singing the chorus on “The World Is Yours” after Rock initially refused.
22. He lived in Crown Heights, Brooklyn before he lived in Queensbridge.
21. The original version of “Ether” featured the line, “It should’ve been you in that plane crash”—referring to the plane crash Aaliyah died in.
20. Kelis’ father was also a jazz musician who played in the same bands as Nas’ father.
19. According to Carmen Bryant, Nas would disappear: She once found him in his “secret” Long Island apartment with pages of rhymes everywhere.
18. He recorded a different verse for Fat Joe’s “John Blaze” that’s never been heard.
17. When Steve Stoute first went to Queensbridge looking for Nas, Jungle pulled a gun on him.
16. According to Prodigy, Mike Delorean from Bars-N-Hooks once had a physical fight with Nas at Sony Studios.
15. After having nothing decent to wear to the 1995 Source Awards and then watching Biggie win all of the major awards, he was convinced that he had to make a change.
14. Raekwon helped Nas formulate his verse for “Verbal Intercourse.”
13. Acccording to Carmen Bryant, one of the reasons Nas didn’t sign to Bad Boy was because Craig Mack was creating problems.
12. Salaam Remi got Nas and Funk Master Flex on the phone to squash the beef between him and Hot 97.
11. He played the trumpet when he was six but his father took it away for fear it would disfigure his lips.
10. He’s recorded several sequels to his most popular records, but never released them because he thought they weren’t as good as the originals.
9. He had to convince his daughter to avoid getting involved when Kelis started taking shots at him during their marital problems.
8. He originally wanted his favorite singer Denise Williams to do the hook on “Street Dreams (Remix).”
7. Nas originally didn’t want the Trackmasters as producers because of their mainstream sound. He was scared of being labeled a “sellout”
6. The first time he met Kelis, he said, “I’ve been wanting to make you my wife for all these years.”
5. He lists Reasonable Doubt as one of his favorite albums.
4. He’s a fan of the HBO show Girls.
3. He cried when he heard 2Pac diss him on “Against All Odds.”
2. After not speaking to Nas for a year, Carmen Byrant heard “Ether” and “Superugly,” called Nas, and said she loved him.
1. His daughter Destiny helped him with choruses and gave him words to rap about on Stillmatic.