The death of Notorious B.I.G. in 1997 paved the way for a generation-defining scrap between Jay-Z and Nas to be crowned the king of New York rap, each pushing the other to some of hip hop's most seminal landmarks. The son of jazz musician Olu Dara, Nasir Jones (born September 14, 1973) rose from the Queens, New York housing projects to sign with Columbia Records and released the classic debut Illmatic in 1994. More thoughtful and socially aware than most of his brash, posturing contemporaries, Nas crossed over into the mainstream with the hits “Street Dreams” and “If I Ruled the World (Imagine That)” and topped the US album charts with Foxy Brown and AZ as part of the supergroup The Firm. Through a career that has notched up the US Number 1 albums It Was Written (1996), I Am... (1999), Hip Hop Is Dead (2006), and Untitled (2009), Nas has matured into a worldly voice, touching on race, religion, politics and his African heritage. Nas was married to R&B star Kelis for three years until they divorced in 2009. His eleventh LP, Life Is Good (2012), arrived three years later, once again claiming the top spot on the Billboard 200 and receiving a Grammy nomination. He turned his hand primarily to collaborations in the ensuing years, contributing guest verses to a whole host of commercial smashes from the likes of Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda, popstar Justin Bieber, and even British electronic group Rudimental, before returning his focus to solo albums. In 2018, he returned with the bite-sized album Nasir, recorded on Kanye West’s famed Wyoming ranch and chiefly produced by West himself. Later that year, however, he found himself the subject of unwanted media attention after ex-wife Kelis alleged that he had been physically abusive during their relationship. In 2019, he unveiled his long-awaited final LP on Def Jam, a sequel to The Lost Tapes, before reemerging in 2020 with another Grammy-nominated album entitled King’s Disease, which featured guest appearances from a whole host of both established and rising stars including drill specialist Fivio Foreign and Travis Scott’s young protégé Don Toliver. A second installment titled King’s Disease II saw the light in 2021 and peaked at Number 3 on the Billboard 200. A star-studded affair, it featured guest spots by Eminem, EPMD, A Boogie wit da Hoodie, YG, Lauryn Hill, Charlie Wilson, Blxst. That same year, Nas surprise-released his fifteenth studio album Magic, featuring guest appearances by DJ Premier and ASAP Rocky, and production by Hit-Boy, who also helped produce the Top 10 entry King's Disease III in 2022.