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Nasir bin Olu Dara Jones (born September 14, 1973) is an American rapper and actor. 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. His debut album Illmatic, was released in 1994 on Columbia Records. Illmatic was a critically acclaimed bestseller and would go on to be widely hailed a classic. His work has influenced, and been admired by many, including Jay-Z, Kanye West, Eminem, Ludacris, Lupe Fiasco, Big L, 50 Cent, The Game, Lil Wayne, Young Jeezy, T.I., and Jermaine Dupri. His lyricism has also earned him the respect from rap pioneers such as KRS-One, Rakim, Kool G Rap and Big Daddy Kane. .

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