Nas is a rapper with a turbulent past. Born Nasir bin Olu Dara Jones, he grew up in the projects of New York City, dropped out of school in the eighth grade and soon began making a name for himself as a rapper. He quickly gained clout as a prodigious lyricist, and in 1991 he performed at Main Source's "Live at the Barbeque," under his then alias, Nasty Nas. Soon, he was making a name for himself as one of America's premier rappers with monumental albums like 1994's Illmatic--an LP that has prompted many to say that Nas basically invented "good rap music." Famous for his feud with Jay-Z in 2001, Nas has gone on to collaborate with rap artists like P. Diddy, Kanye West and Dr. Dre.