Nas, born Count Nasir Jones, has established himself as one of the world’s top rappers, but he is also one of the world’s most known businesspeople.
The musician-turned-entrepreneur has made several business maneuvers, following in the footsteps of Jay-Z, Andre “Dr. Dre” Young, and Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson.
Nas founded the investment firm QueensBridge Venture Partners, which was one of his most significant economic actions. According to reports, the Los Angeles-based firm has invested in more than 40 start-ups in fields such as financial technology, health care, and music production. Lyft, Dropbox, Coinbase, Tradesy, and LANDR, a firm that combines big data and artificial intelligence to make music, are among the startups that have piqued the rapper-turned-entrepreneur’s interest. Nas joined in an investment round in LANDR in 2019 as part of a collaboration with Warner Music Group and the Plus Eight Equity Fund. The transaction increased his personal ownership in LANDR.
Nas is also a cigar business investor. According to Cigar Journal, he entered the industry in 2021 as a brand co-owner of Escobar Cigars. He disclosed that he initially declined the offer when Escobar Cigars approached him, and that the cooperation had been in the works for two years.
“When the team at Escobar Cigars initially approached me, I was immediately drawn to the brand by the exceptional quality of their product,” said Nas, who recently invested in mattresses. “This partnership with Escobar has been almost two years in the making and I am honored to be an equity partner with them. I am looking forward to growing this brand and to giving back to the local communities in Nicaragua where our tobacco is grown, aged, and hand-rolled into a premium cigar.”
Mass Appeal is also co-owned by the rapper. When Nas spent a six-figure sum in the company to become a co-owner, it was practically out of production. According to Ebony, Mass Appeal later evolved into a quarterly publication with subsidiary businesses in digital video creation, digital marketing, and licensing.
Ill Will Records, which Nas co-founded with then-manager Steve Stoute, was one of Nas’ first ventures. Nastradamus, his platinum-selling record, was issued under the label. In addition to his own songs, the label issued records by his band Bravehearts and Queens rapper Nature.