African American History Facts

Black Music Month 2013 Spotlight: Nas


Nas Life Is Good

Stage Name: Nas

Full Name: Nasir Bin Olu Dara Jones

Born: September 14, 1973

Birthplace: Queens, New York

Nas is one of today’s most influential rappers. Nas is considered by CNN to be the greatest lyricist of all time. In 1994, Nas entered the scene with his first masterpiece Illmatic, and since released nine solid and well respected solo albums. Nas has handcrafted classics such as “N.Y. State of Mind,” “I Gave You Power,” “If I Ruled The World,” “Nas Is Like,” “One Mic,” and many more. Nas and his father Olu Dara, who is a Jazz musician linked up on his 2004, Street Disciple, second single, “Bridging The Gap,” where the two fused the two worlds of Jazz and Hip Hop. Shockingly, Nas has 18 Grammy nominations, and has yet to win one. Rappers J. Cole, Kendrick Lamar, and The Game have spoken several times about the impact that Nas has made upon their style of rap. J. Cole even titled a track from his upcoming album Born Sinner, “Let Nas Down.” (Video here!)

A few songs that you should check out by Nas:

Second Childhood


One Mic

Cherry Wine

Black Music Month 2013 Spotlight: Nina Simone


Nina Simone

Stage Name: Nina Simone

Full Name: Eunice Kathleen Waymon

Born February 21, 1933

Died: April 23, 2003

Birthplace: Tryon, North Carolina

Nina Simone was an American jazz, blues, and folk music vocalist. Nina Simone received a scholarship to study classical piano at the Juilliard School in New York City, but left early when she ran out of money. Nina Simone debut album was released in 1958. Simone was identified as the voice of the civil rights movement in the 60’s. Nina Simone music has heavily been embraced by the Hip-Hop world. Rappers, such as 50 Cent, Lil Wayne, AZ, Jay-Z, and Kanye West have all utilized a sample from at least one of her songs.

A few songs that you should check out by Nina Simone:

Feeling Good



Four Women

Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood

I Put A Spell On You

Source: The Official Home of Nina Simone & Bio.True Story

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