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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 also parted ways with manager MC Serch, enlisted Steve Stoute, and began preparation for his second LP, It Was Written, consciously working towards a crossover-oriented sound.
The album also expanded on Nas's Escobar persona, who lived more of a Scarface/Casino-esque lifestyle.His African DNA indicates he has roots in countries with high Yoruba populations Nigeria, Benin, Togo and Ghana – as well as Mali, the Ivory Coast, Cameroon, Congo, South Africa, and Senegal.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.The son of Olu Dara, Nas has released eight consecutive platinum and multi-platinum albums and has sold over 25 million records worldwide.He is also an entrepreneur through his own record label; he serves as associate publisher of Mass Appeal magazine and is the owner of a Fila sneaker store. His musical career began in 1991, as a featured artist on Main Source's "Live at the Barbeque".Shaheem Reid of MTV News called Illmatic "the first classic LP" of 1994.
Nas, the poetic sage of the Queensbridge projects, was hailed as the second coming of Rakim—as if the first had reached his expiration date.
In 2012, The Source ranked him #2 on their list of the "Top 50 Lyricists of All Time".
In 2013, Nas was ranked 4th on MTV's "Hottest MCs in the Game" list.
His neighbor, Willy "Ill Will" Graham, influenced his interest in hip hop by playing him records.
As a teenager, Nas enlisted his best friend and upstairs neighbor Willy "Ill Will" Graham as his DJ.
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".