For residents of Queensbridge Houses, there’s no doubt who the best rapper of all-time is: Nas, the legendary lyricist who has called Queensbridge home. On December 14, Nas demonstrated his commitment to the community by gifting toys to children and meeting with residents at the Jacob A. Riis Neighborhood Settlement House. The event was organized by Mass Appeal, a music, art, and style magazine where Nas is associate publisher.
Born Nasir Jones, Nas grew up in Queensbridge with his family, including his jazz musician dad, Olu Dara. His first album, Illmatic, launched him as a rapper to watch in 1994. He became a multiplatinum hip-hop artist who has sold more than 25 million records internationally. While Nas’ fans wait patiently for his next album, they have recent songs to listen to, such as “Wrote My Way Out,” a song he recorded for The Hamilton Mixtape in collaboration with Lin-Manual Miranda. In addition to music, Nas has acted in film and television, and is an executive producer of the Netflix original series The Get Down. He is also co-founder of Mass Appeal Records, an indie label, and a clothing label called HSTRY.