"Nas is an American rapper. The son of jazz musician Olu Dara, he was born and raised in the Queensbridge housing projects in New York City. Although he dropped out of middle school, he attained a high degree of literacy that he would later use in his lyrics. Nas was signed to Columbia Records in 1994, when his debut album Illmatic came out. Illmatic was a critically acclaimed bestseller and would go on to be widely hailed a classic. Several other albums followed, including It Was Written in 1996, I Am... and Nastradamus in 1999, and Stillmatic in 2001. Nas was part of The Firm, a hip-hop supergroup that also included rappers AZ, Foxy Brown, and Nature. However, the group released only one album together."