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Nas Offers Tech Scholarships to Minorities with Google and Microsoft

Nas partners with Microsoft and Google to fund scholarships in technology, specifically targeting African-Americans and Latinos.

On Thursday, General Assembly, a New York City-based tech educator, announced the launch of the “Opportunity Fund,” a new initiative from Google, Microsoft, and Nasir Jones that will provide scholarships to students who have been historically under-represented in the industry such as women, African-Americans and Latinos. Nas, who has recently co-founded the venture capitalist firm QueensBridge Venture Partners stated “Education, careers and opportunities in technology should not be limited to any one demographic, and I’m happy to support minorities who will see doors open to them as a result of participation in this program.” Students eligible to receive scholarships awards must agree to commit at least 100 hours mentoring local high school students through a number of nonprofits groups including All Star Code, Black Girls Code, CodeNow, Coderdojo and ScriptEd. 

Applications for the scholarship are being accepted through May 7th.  

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It’s About Community: Nas Raises Over $60,000 for Family Stranded by Fire Last week, Nas launched a campaign on the fundraising site Crowdtilt and has already received over 2,245 donations and raised more than $63,735, surpassing his target goal of $50,000.

Inspired by the story of a single father of 8 who lost everything, Nas used social media as a tool of awareness to help Stanley Young and his family. The rapper launched a campaign on the fundraising site Crowdtilt, which he shared via Facebook and Twitter to help bring attention to the matter. With his starting donation of $5000, Nas asked his fans to come together as a community to help bring a miracle to the Young family. In less than 24 hours the campaign had already surpassed the initial goal of $25,000. The response from the community was so large that Nas donated an additional $5000 and raised the goal to $50,000 which was met within 48 hours of the campaigns establishment. For those who would like to contribute, there are still four days left in the campaign.

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Chicago: Nas Performs Illmatic at Lollapalooza 2014

Nas celebrates 20 years of Illmatic with a special performance at Lollapalooza 2014 in Chicago.

This year’s Lollapalooza festival went down in history, as a host of big-name performers from all genres of music took over the “Windy City.” Held in Chicago’s Grant Park, the festival brought many big names to play the three day event including Nas, OutKast, Calvin Harris, Temper Trap, and more. Nas, who is currently celebrating the twentieth anniversary of his debut album, Illmatic, performed an unforgettable set on Saturday night.

Dressed in all black and wearing a single gold chain, Nas took to the Palladia stage, beginning his performance with a large screen counting the years backwards from 2014 to 1994, the year in which “Illmatic” was released. Following the countdown, the emcee immediately went into the classic joint “N.Y. State of Mind,” which had the crowd jumping high and singing along to the music word-for-word. Nas kept the energy high as he continued to perform hits from the album including a performance of “It Ain’t Hard to Tell"for which he stopped the show to pay homage to Michael Jackson directly before launching into the 1994 single. Speaking humbly to the crowd on the accomplishment and celebration of Illmatic, Nas said "20 years ago I put out this album. Some of ya’ll were just 1 years-old when this album came out, but damn it feels good to be out here Lollapalooza”. 

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Ill Advice: Nas Offers Advice to Kendrick Lamar On Following Up A Classic Album

Nas shares words of encouragement for Kendrick Lamar on the follow up to his debut album, while discussing the pressure and challenges of following up a classic album with Complex Magazine.

It’s no secret that Nas’ debut album, Illmatic, was not an immediate commercial success, but still managed to move the hip hop culture to another level, eventually becoming one of the most successful and praised debut albums in hip hop. Released in 1994, the album spoke of a time and a culture that when paired with the Nas’ lyrical genius, went unmatched by the works of his peers both back then and now. Twenty years later, the success of Illmatic and the timeless body of work continues to draw comparisons between Nas and other hip hop artists of today. More recently, the conversation has shifted to draw comparisons between the success of Illmatic and Kendrick Lamar’s good kid, m.A.A.d city. During a recent interview with Complex Magazine, Nas addressed the comparisons between his debut album, Illmatic and Kendrick Lamar’s good kid, m.A.A.d city. With the massive success of Kendrick’s debut album, the pressure for an equally good or even better sophomore album is thick and can be a trying experience. 

Nas, speaking with Complex’s Insanul Ahmed, offers words of wisdom and advice to Lamar while sharing his experience on the completion of his sophomore album and addresses the comparisons between the two. 

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Nas Partners With Education Innovator Koru To Assist College Grads

Artist Pledges Coaching and Nas Scholarship Fund to Focus on Real World Training.

Koru, a company focused on transforming the college-to-career landscape, today announced a partnership with Nas, the legendary rapper, songwriter and actor, to bring Nas’ expertise in real world training and business to college graduates in the Koru program. The Nas Scholarship Fund will sponsor students who are carefully selected by the celebrated musician to receive financial aid. As part of the partnership, Nas and his investment company, Queensbridge Venture Partners, also made a significant investment in Koru.   

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, over 50 percent of recent college graduates are unemployed or underemployed. At the same time, nearly half of U.S. employers report difficulty finding qualified recent graduates. Koru is a company that is transforming the often-difficult college-to-career transition with an immersive, experiential learning program. Nas has committed to a role as an engaged and involved partner with Koru to help teach, guide and mentor select college graduates as they enter the workforce.   

“I’m intrigued by the Koru program because they focus on the true value of grit and what it really takes to be successful in business today,“ said Nas. “I’m excited to assist students with financial support and I plan to take that one step further by teaching grads what I’ve learned in my own experience.”   

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On Sale Now: Dave Chappelle & Nas at Radio City Music Hall

Dave Chappellle has announced that Nas will be joining him to perform Illmatic (in it’s entirety) during his ninth and final show at Radio City Music Hall on June 23rd.

As announced on David Letterman last night, hip-hop icon Nas and Chappelle will come together for a ninth and final show at Radio City Music Hall. Nas, accompanied by a full orchestra will perform music for his landmark album Illmatic. Nas recently released Illmatic XX via SONY Legacy. The collection celebrates the anniversary of Illmatic, the album that made him an icon. In conjunction with the release, Time Is Illmatic—a feature length documentary that examines the album—opened this year’s Tribeca Film Festival and will hit theaters nationwide in October.   

Five consecutive comedy shows and four music and comedy shows make up the Radio City Music Hall run for Dave Chappelle starting June 18 through June 26. As Chappelle approaches the 10th anniversary of his concert movie Block Party, filmed in 2004, in Brooklyn, this run of shows at Radio City are Chappelle’s first announced NYC engagement in over 10 years.    

Reserved tickets from $79.50 on sale today at 10 a.m. at www.ticketmaster.com. All tickets subject to applicable service charges and fees.  Dates and times subject to change without notice.   

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Nas Reflects on His Life in 20 Songs with Rolling Stone

Beginning from the time before “Illmatic” all the way up to “Life Is Good,” Nas discusses two decades of music that impacted his life with Rolling Stone Magazine.

In celebration of the re-release of his debut album, Illmatic, Nas took some time to reflect and share the music that has impacted his life with Rolling Stone Magazine. Speaking candidly on the album that skyrocketed the then 19 year old young man into success, Nas states, “It gives me a reference piece to look at myself and for me to analyze my life and what I’ve come from; my accomplishments; my dreams.” From his first feature in 1991 on Main Source's “Live at the Barbeque” to 2012’s “No Introduction” of his last album, Life is Good, the Queensbridge lyricist shares details on the imagery and thought sequence of the true significance of each track.

Nas also touches on the inspiration for his next album which he hopes to deliver to fans by the end of this year stating, “I didn’t know that this would inspire me, but this time has made me reflect and made me aware of where I am today. I think I could have put together a good new album without this 20-year anniversary, but I don’t think it would have nowhere near the depth that I think it’s going to have now.” Nas’ re-mastered re-release of Illmatic XX is out now and can be purchased through iTunes, Amazon, or other local music retail shops. The documentary chronicling the album, “Time is Illmatic” will premier today at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York.

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IllmaticXX: Read 10 Short Stories Inspired by Nas’ ‘Illmatic’

Myspace celebrates twenty years since the release of Nas’ debut album, Illmatic, with ten short stories inspired by the timeless piece of work.

Twenty years after it’s release, Nas’ debut album Illmatic continues to inspire the masses for it’s ability to connect with listeners and paint vivid tales of struggle, triumph, and real life experiences of a kid from New York’s Queensbridge housing projects. The album, which debuted April 19, 1994, has continued to sustain it’s relevancy and remains classified as one of the greatest albums in hip hop over the past twenty years. Standing the test of time, the album has become widely known throughout hip hop and American culture for fans of every generation. Paying homage to the album’s 20th anniversary, Myspace came together with ten writers to paint their versions of the album, track by track, each delivering a short reinterpretation of the time period that was Illmatic.   

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The People Want Nas - The Source Magazine Presents: The 30 Most Anticipated Albums of 2014

It Ain’t Hard to Tell that the hip hop fans all around the world are anxiously waiting for Nas to release his next album. The Source Magazine is no exception, featuring Nas in their review of the most anticipated albums of 2014.

April 2nd, 2013 was a very important day in the news. Connecticut lawmakers came to an agreement for stricter gun laws, North Korea reinstated its nuclear plant, and the U.S. was hit with record breaking low temperatures throughout the country. This was also the day that Queens-born hip hop legend Nasir “Nas” Jones would send a tweet that carried shockwaves through the hip hop community. The tweet was simple and read “Eh-um…. Dropping next album title next month.” In an instance, the internet exploded with buzz on Nas’ new album. Rumors of collaborations, release dates, and more soon followed all over the internet, fueling the anticipation and anxiety of the fans. Since then, the world has been patiently waiting and anticipating the 11th solo album of one of hip hop’s greatest lyricists and storytellers. Now, The Source Magazine counts down their list of the most anticipated albums of the year featuring Nas.

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Ready for Launch: Nas Celebrates 12AM:Run Launch at 1 OAK

Nas hosts a celebrity filled event at 1 OAK to celebrate the launch of 12AM:Run, his new sneaker shop opening at The Linq on the Las Vegas Strip this Spring. 

With the opening of his new sneaker shop 12AM:Run vastly approaching, Nas celebrated it’s launch Tuesday night at Las Vegas’ 1 OAK at The Mirage Resort and Casino. Dressed in all black, the emcee arrived on the red carpet for photo opportunities after dining at STACK Restaurant and Bar with his entourage earlier in the evening. Inside the nightclub, celebrity guests including Boxing Champ Floyd “Money” Mayweather, NFL Player Dwight Freeney, Bow Wow, Rico Love, and more joined the celebration for the sneaker shop which will open this Spring. Those in attendance were treated to a very special performance from the emcee as he took the stage just after midnight for an unforgettable performance of some of his biggest hits. Nas performed to an at-capacity crowd of screaming fans who sang along while he enthusiastically delivered a play list of his greatest hits including “Hate Me Now,” “Made You Look,” and the 1996 hit “If I Ruled the World.”

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Tribeca Film Festival Announces Ticket Sales for Nas’ “Time Is Illmatic” Documentary 2014 Tribeca Film Festival announces two additional music rooted films and tickets for opening night at The Beacon Theatre for Nas’ “Time Is Illmatic,” on sale to the general public.

The 2014 Tribeca Film Festival (TFF), presented by AT&T, announced the addition of two feature films, both with musical roots, to its special screenings program: Alex Gibney’s work-in-progress Untitled James Brown Documentary, and the world premiere of Björk: Biophilia Live. It was also announced that TFF’s Opening Night, the world premiere of Time is Illmatic followed by a performance by legendary rapper Naswill take place at the iconic Beacon Theatre with tickets for sale to the public. Opening Night is co-sponsored by Hennessy. The 2014 Festival will take place from April 16 - 27 in New York City.

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It'a a Celebration: Nas Celebrates 12AM RUN and IllmaticXX at 1 OAK in Las Vegas

Nas parties at 1 Oak in Las Vegas to celebrate the 20 years of Illmatic and the launching of his new venture, 12AM RUN, a new sneaker boutique located at The Linq on the Las Vegas Strip.

Nas has got a lot to celebrate these days, this month the hip hop legend celebrated the 20th anniversary of his debut album, Illmatic, the premier of a new documentary, “Time is Illmatic,” at The Tribeca Film Festival and most recently, the opening of his new sneaker boutique, 12AM RUN, on the famous Las Vegas Strip over the weekend. Following the opening of Nas took the celebration to The Mirage’s 1 OAK where the hip-hop legend gave an unforgettable performance to celebrate his new venture as well as the 20th anniversary of his classic album, Illmatic. Nas arrived on the red carpet for phtos dressed in a special edition black and gold 12AM RUN t-shirt complimented with dark denim, before proceeding inside the packed venue. 

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20 Years Later: The Best of Nas’ “Illmatic” with Miss Info

Twenty years after it’s release, Miss Info and Complex Magazine celebrate Illmatic XX with reflections of her “Illmatic” experience.

The year was 1994 and the rap scene was in the middle of a full transformation when Nas’ debut album, Illmatic, came across the desk of The Source Magazine’s intern, Minya Oh. The young intern, better known these days as Miss Info, was assigned to review the album and immediately after hearing it, crowned the album with the prestigious honor of 5 Mics. Speaking of the iconic album, Miss Info states “Illmatic represents the best that hip-hop can be, alongside one of the best judgments I ever had the honor to make, and all the special memories of a wide-eyed, un-jaded time in New York City life.” Twenty years later, in celebration of the album’s anniversary and re-lease, Illmatic XX, Complex Magazine and Miss Info take a trip back down memory lane to share some of her most memorable moments from Illmatic.   

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Nas, Hip Hop, and Higher Education  Nas Honored As The “Nasir Jones Hip-Hop Fellowship” Is Established At Harvard University. Today, Harvard University and the Hip Hop Archive announced the "Nasir Jones Hip-Hop Fellowship" program. The Fellowship will provide selected scholars and artists with an opportunity to show that “education is real power,” as it builds upon the achievements of those who demonstrate exceptional capacity for productive scholarship and exceptional creative ability in the arts, in connection with hip-hop. The program also seeks to incorporate Hip Hop into higher education without “losing and compromising what Hip hop is and means to those who introduced it and to those who continue to develop and sustain Hiphop culture.” Read More

Rap Genius & Nas Breakdown “Illmatic” in it’s Entirety 

Two decades since arguably the greatest hip-hop album of all time was released, Nas breaks down every lyric of the landmark album “Illmatic,” widely debated as the “Hip Hop Bible.”

It’s been almost twenty years since the release of Nas’ debut album, Illmatic, the album that quickly transformed a teenage emcee from the Queensbridge projects to a household name. Hailed as a hip hop classic and timeless reference to New York’s inner-city life, the album has stood the test of time with the meaning of it’s content sparking debates for the last two decades. Celebrating the album’s greatness and twentieth anniversary, Rap Genius and Nas have come together to break down the entire album, word for word. Check out the verified annotations from Nas himself and get the re-masterd re-release of the classic album, Illmatic XX, available now.  

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#IllmaticXX: Nas Performs with Dave Chappelle at Radio City Music Hall

Dave Chappelle concluded his series of shows at New York City’s Radio City Music Hall last night with Nas joining him to perform Illmatic.

Last night, Dave Chappelle closed out his series of shows at New York City’s Radio City Music Hall with Nas joining him for the final night to perform the classic Illmatic. Following Chappelle’s performance, Nas took to the stage to thank the comedienne for allowing him be a part of history before beginning his performance. Dressed in red blazer and wearing gold chains, Nas began his performance of Illmatic in it’s entirety… 

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100% Authentic: Nas Discusses New TV Series “Street Dreams”

Nas speaks with Rolling Stone Magazine to give exclusive details on his new television drama series, Street Dreams, coming soon from Xbox Entertainment.

With the recent announcement of Nas’ new television show, Street Dreams, in development, many are speculating as to what the story line may encompass. Recently, Nas sat down with Rolling Stone Magazine to discuss exclusive details on his new project and how it came about. The show will be a dramatic series following the trails and tribulations of a young Nas forging his career in the 1990’s. Nas, who is heavily involved in the project revealed to the magazine, “I’m hands-on with everything, so this show is 100 percent authentic. Even if I don’t look cool in it, I just want it to be real and raw. I didn’t see this as a full autobiography at first. But I have so much that’s happened in my life already, there was no room for fantasy. I wanted it to be entertaining, but everything from my life seemed to be so strong. It’s all reality. There’s nothing from my life I didn’t want in there.” The emcee and his team has been busy developing this project for the past two years as another means to tell the story of the  Queensbrigde rapper. Nas, who is also celebrating the 20th anniversary of his debut album, Illmatic, will not only co-write the scripting of the show but will also contribute music to the new series which is still in development.

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Hennessy V.S and Nas Celebrate 20 Years of Illmatic

Hennessy V.S hosted an intimate brunch at the Ingleside Inn in Palm Springs during week one of Coachella to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Nas’ legendary “Illmatic” album with an exclusive look at the new documentary, “Time is Illmatic.”

Following his amazing performance on the Coachella stage Saturday night, where he amazed the crowd with special appearances from Jay Z and Diddy, Nas along with Hennessy V.S hosted an intimate brunch on Sunday offering a sneak peak of the new documentary film, “Time is Illmatic.” Held at the Ingleside Inn in Palm Springs, guests of the event included Lance Gross, Eva Marcille, Damon Wayans, Jernaine Dupri, and more. Guests were treated to brunch while they sipped on classic and innovative Hennessy concoctions throughout the day before being treated to an exclusive screening of the trailer for Time is Illmatic, co-created and produced by Illa Films producers, One 9 and Erik Parker. “Time is Illmatic” will premier at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York on April 16. Nas’ 20th anniversary re-release Illmatic,  Illmatic XX is available today.

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The Source Magazine Presents the MLK Acknowledgement Award to Nas & The Game

Nas and The Game were honored by The Source Magazine with the Prestigious Martin Luther King Acknowledgment award for their acts of compassion and deeds to help others in their community.

In celebration of the birthday of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the 25th Anniversary of their publication, The Source Magazine honors and acknowledges the work of members from the Hip-Hop community whose deeds and actions have demonstrated courage, compassion, and the will to serve others. This year, Nas, along with The Game, were honored for their acts of philanthropy and charity throughout their serving communities. Nas was specifically honored for his call to action last year in the case of a single and unemployed father of eight, Stanley Young. Young, a recent widow and laid off construction member in Washington DC, came to the attention of the MC when his manager was visiting the city and saw a news segment of the man pleading for assistance after losing his home in a fire started by a near by facility. Nas, who was on tour in Japan was sent an email with Young’s story and immediately reacted, calling for a call to action to raise money for the man and his family. Within days, Nas used his social media and celebrity platforms to garner attention and raise over $40,000 to assist the single father and his family through the online donation site, Crowdtilt. Nas also donated $10,000 to the Young Family and released the following statement, “As a single father I couldn’t help but feel for Stanley. He has my [utmost] respect as a man. It takes a real one to do whatever it takes to help his family. I want to help the Young family get a fresh start on life and I want the world to know that they can help make a difference if they stick together. We are learning an incredible lesson and Stanley is the teacher of that lesson. I cannot wait to meet them in person.” Humbling himself as a man and a human being, Nas stripped his celebrity in order to prove to the public and the youth especially, that we all have duty to impact the lives of one another and take care of our communities.

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Watch the Trailer For Nas’ Documentary: “Nas: Time Is Illmatic”

Watch the new trailer for One9 and Erik Parker's Nas: Time Is Illmatic documentary. Coming to theaters, iTunes, and Video on Demand this October.

Directed by One9, written by Erik Parker, with never before seen interviews from artist like Nas, Large Professor, Pete Rock, Q-Tip, L.E.S., DJ Premier, Pharrell Williams, Alicia Keys, and more, the story of Nas’ iconic album comes to life on the silver screen. The film takes viewers on a journey twenty years back in time, when Nas’ debut album Illmatic dropped and the young emcee commanded the attention of the masses. The film chronicles Nas’ influences from his environment, family, and music while uncovering details of his life story and career. Nas: Time Is Illmatic is scheduled for release in select theaters beginning October 1st in conjunction with the “Nas: Time Is Illmatic” Tour presented by Hennessy V S.

The film will also be released nationwide through Video On Demand, iTunes, and other digital platforms beginning October 3rd. 

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