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ranked him first on their list of the "50 Greatest MCs of All Time" in 2014, and a year later, Nas was featured on "The 10 Best Rappers of All Time" list by Billboard.
In 2016, Nas narrated The Get Down and rapped as Adult Ezekiel of 1996.
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.
His debut album Illmatic (1994) received universal acclaim from both critics and the Hip-Hop community and is frequently ranked as the greatest Hip Hop album of all time.
Nas's follow-up It Was Written debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200, stayed on top for 4 consecutive weeks, went Double Platinum in 2 months, and made Nas internationally known.
Shaheem Reid of MTV News called Illmatic "the first classic LP" of 1994.
Halfway through the production of the album, Cormega was fired from the group by Steve Stoute, who had unsuccessfully attempted to force Cormega to sign a deal with his management company.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.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".In mid-1992, Nas was approached by MC Serch of 3rd Bass, who became his manager and secured Nas a record deal with Columbia Records during the same year.