Nasir bin Olu Dara Jones, known professionally as Nas, is an American rapper, songwriter and investor. The son of jazz musician Olu Dara, Nas has released eight consecutive platinum and multi-platinum albums and has sold over 30 million records worldwide, he is an entrepreneur through his own record label. His musical career began in 1991, as a featured artist on Main Source's "Live at the Barbeque", his debut album Illmatic received universal acclaim from both critics and the hip hop community and is ranked as one of the greatest hip hop albums of all time. Nas's follow-up It Was Written debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200, stayed on top for four consecutive weeks, went Double Platinum in two months, made Nas internationally known. From 2001 to 2005, Nas was involved in a publicized feud with Jay-Z, popularized by the diss track "Ether". Nas signed to Def Jam in 2006. In 2010, he released Distant Relatives, a collaboration album with Damian Marley, donating all royalties to charities active in Africa.
His 11th studio album, Life Is Good was nominated for Best Rap Album at the 55th Annual Grammy Awards. In 2006, MTV ranked Nas at #5 on their list of "The Greatest MCs of All Time". 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. About.com ranked him first on their list of the "50 Greatest MCs of All Time" in 2014, a year Nas was featured on "The 10 Best Rappers of All Time" list by Billboard. Nas has sold over 30 million records worldwide. Nasir bin Olu Dara Jones was born in the Brooklyn borough of New York City on September 14, 1973, his father, Olu Dara, is a blues musician from Mississippi. His mother, Fannie Ann was a U. S. Postal Service worker from North Carolina, he has a brother, Jabari Fret, who raps under the name Jungle and is a member of hip hop group Bravehearts. His father adopted the name "Olu Dara" from the Yoruba people. "Nasir" is an Arabic name meaning "protector", while "bin" means "son of" in Arabic.
As a young child and his family relocated to the Queensbridge Houses in the borough of Queens. His neighbor, Willy "Ill Will" Graham, influenced his interest in hip hop by playing, his parents divorced in 1985, he dropped out of school after the eighth grade. He educated himself about African culture through the Nuwaubian Nation. In his early years, he began writing his own rhymes; as a teenager, Nas enlisted his best friend and upstairs neighbor Willy "Ill Will" Graham as his DJ. Nas went by the nickname "Kid Wave" before adopting his more known alias of "Nasty Nas". In the late-1980s, he met up with the producer Large Professor and went to the studio where Rakim and Kool G Rap were recording their albums; when they were not in the recording studio, Nas would record his own material. However, none of it was released. 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.
Nas made his solo debut under the name of "Nasty Nas" on the single "Halftime" from MC Serch's soundtrack for the film Zebrahead. Called the new Rakim, his rhyming skills attracted a significant amount of attention within the hip hop community. In 1994, Nas's debut album, was released, it featured production from Large Professor, Pete Rock, Q-Tip, LES and DJ Premier, as well as guest appearances from Nas's friend AZ and his father Olu Dara. The album spawned several singles, including "The World Is Yours", "It Ain't Hard to Tell", "One Love". Shaheem Reid of MTV News called Illmatic "the first classic LP" of 1994. In 1994, Nas recorded the song "One on One" for the soundtrack to the film Street Fighter. In his book To the Break of Dawn: A Freestyle on the Hip Hop Aesthetic, William Jelani Cobb writes of Nas's impact at the time: 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. Nas never became'the next Rakim,' nor did he have to.
Illmatic stood on its own terms. The sublime lyricism of the CD, combined with the fact that it was delivered into the crucible of the boiling East-West conflict solidified reputation as the premier writer of his time. Illmatic was awarded best album of 1994 by The Source. Steve Huey of AllMusic described Nas's lyrics on Illmatic as "highly literate" and his raps "superbly fluid regardless of the size of his vocabulary", adding that Nas is "able to evoke the bleak reality of ghetto life without losing hope or forgetting the good times". Reviewing Nas's second album It Was Written, Leo Stanley of allmusic believed the rhymes to be not as complex as those in Illmatic but still "not only flow, but manage to tell coherent stories as well". About.com ranked Illmatic as the greatest hip hop album of all time, Prefix magazine praised it as "the best hip hop record made". Columbia Records began to press Nas to work towards more commercial topics, such as that of The Notorious B. I. G. who had become successful by releasing street singles that still retained radio-friendly appeal.
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 parted ways with manager MC Serch, enlisted Steve Stout
Charles William Mellon was an Irish first-class cricketer. Mellon was born at Dublin in February 1915. After leaving Sandford Park, he went up to Trinity College, where he played club cricket for Dublin University Cricket Club, he made his debut in first-class cricket for Ireland against Scotland at Belfast in 1937. The following year, he made a second first-class appearance against Scotland at Glasgow. Across his two first-class matches, Mellon scored a total of 48 runs at an average of 12.00, with a highest score of 38. His second match against Scotland marked his final appearance for Ireland, with Mellon playing little club cricket after this match. Outside of cricket, he worked as the managing director of an animal foods company, he died at Dublin in November 1991. Charles Mellon at ESPNcricinfo
Awol Erizku is an Ethiopian-American contemporary artist who lives and works in New York City & Los Angeles. His primary media are painting, photography and video installation. Erizku works with a wide variety of found materials. Erizku was dubbed "The Art World’s New'It' Boy" by Vulture Magazine. Erizku was born in Ethiopia and raised in New York City's South Bronx neighborhood, He cultivated an interest in photography at Cooper Union, where he earned a bachelor of fine arts degree in 2010, he received an MFA from Yale's Visual Arts program four years later. While working towards his BFA, he worked under photographers David LaChapelle, Lorna Simpson, Margaret Morton, Christine Osinski, he did commercial as well as documentary photography for rap group A$AP Mob. Erizku's first solo show, "Black and Gold," was shown at New York's Hasted-Kraeutler gallery in 2012; the show featured a series of photo portraits depicting black figures cast within classic art-historical contexts. The most famous of the works was "Girl with a Bamboo Earring," visually recalling Johannes Vermeer's famous "Girl with a Pearl Earring" with a Black model as its focus.
In 2014, Erizku returned to the Hasted-Kraeutler gallery space with "The Only Way is Up," a larger exhibition featuring a variety of sculpture, mixed media and photography. With his works, he displayed mastery of the cultural landscape, invoking Hip hop including homages to artists such as Marcell Duchamp, David Hammons, Donald Judd; the exhibition drew its title from the Quincy Jones album, in turn named after the Otis Clay song, "The Only Way Is Up". "Although Erizku’s work abounds with signifiers and indicators of African American culture, it speaks more broadly to a universal quest for self-discovery."The centerpiece of the exhibition offers a nod to rapper Jay-Z, drawing its title, Oh what a feeling, fuck it, I want a trillion from the rapper's 2013 song "Picasso Baby." With a nod to Donald Judd's "Stacks" and 1960s minimalism, Erizku aligns seven basketball rims with 24-karat gold-plated nets, with a Brooklyn Nets team mini-basketball resting atop the highest basket. "I thought it would be interesting to replace the stacked boxes with basketball hoops, a reference to David Hammons, signifiers of my life in New York City," Erizku said of his work.
"The piece operates as a striking metaphor, embodying the anxieties inherent to life as a young contemporary artist by aligning basketball with the practice of making art—both are games, shaped half by talent and half by luck. If you ask me, you have more to chew on when you look at those stacked hoops than those metal boxes."Erizku released an accompanying mixtape with DJ Kitty Ca$h in collaboration with Vice to go along with the exhibition's artwork. "The majority of that mixtape was trap, because trap is hot in hip-hop right now,” Erizku told Vice. “Music is universal and I wanted to create a musical definition of my work that spoke to my generation about the issues and ideas my work represents." The mixtape features audio from artist Kerry James Marshall discussing the issue of black invisibility in art. In 2015, in collaboration with MoMA PopRally, Erizku screened films and photos in "Serendipity," an event held at the Museum of Modern Art in May. Erizku's work asks questions about race within the context of art history.
He is centrally concerned with blackness and how black artists are canonized. “I hate when people label my work urban,” he said in 2012. “Just because it’s African American subjects or people of color it’s not urban.”“Honestly, I don’t see as just being about black culture. If we label everything as black or white or yellow or whatever it becomes this thing of, this belongs here, this belong there. There's an aspect in my work. I never go into my studio and say,'Well, this is for this group, I don’t want this group to get it.'" His blend of pop art and minimalism has made him one of the New York's more buzzed-about young artists