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‘I Ain’t Been Home Since My First Song’: Nas Admits He Was ‘Bad Father’ to His Daughter During the Early Years of His Rap Career

Nas shared some hard truths about his role as a father on a new track titled “Runaway.” The single produced by and for Swizz Beatz‘ “Hip Hop 50: Vol. 2 EP,” finds the rapper unpacking his true feelings about parenthood.

Nas shares a daughter, Destiny Jones, 28, with Carmen Bryan, who was born just before the recording artist dropped his first album “Illmatic” at the age of 20. He also shares a 13-year-old son, Knight Jones, with his ex-wife, Kelis.

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Nas attends You’re Watching Video Music Box at AMC Magic Johnson Harlem on Dec. 3, 2021, in New York City. (Photo: Johnny Nunez/WireImage)

“All I imagine sometimes under sunshine or vacation, things I did in my hood, situations, oh well/ Probably was a bad father to my firstborn/ Love her to death, but I ain’t been home since my first song/ Provided for her, but money can’t replace a father for her,” he raps on the track.

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While confessing his faults, Nas also professed his love for both of his children.

“Plus, I got a son, blessed with kids, yeah, man, I adore them/ And I was sure I was gonna leave this life too fast/ I got guardian angles came down and saved my a—.”

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Nas has often been applauded by fans for making his daughter Destiny an executive producer on his fifth studio album, “Stillmatic,” from which she receives royalty checks. On the surface, they have always appeared to have a close relationship based on photos on social media.

But the same can’t be said regarding his relationship with his youngest son. After divorcing in 2010, Nas and his ex-wife went through a bitter custody battle over their son. Kelis filed for divorce while pregnant in 2009 after Nas allegedly cheated. Years later, in 2018, she accused her ex-husband of physical and mental abuse, and she also admitted to hitting the “Patience” rapper back.

“Did he hit me?… Mmm hmmm. Did I hit him back?… Mmm hmmm.” Kelis recalled. “It was because he would black out, he would drink too much. He drank way too much … he will never admit it.”

The singer said they had “really intense” highs and lows in their relationship. She also claimed that she might have stayed in the marriage had she not been pregnant.

“The only way I can describe it was like double dutch,” Kelis explained. “Do I jump in? Do I say [I’ve been abused?] Because I had bruises all over my body at that time. … And I wasn’t ready to walk. I just wasn’t. And so I didn’t say it. … I was appalled, I was embarrassed. … I wasn’t ready [to leave].”

She also exposed his parenting style and accused him of not showing up for months to see his own and then creating his own visitation schedule.

In response, Nas claimed that Kelis was verbally abusive to his daughter and himself and denied he was abusive to the “Trick Me” singer.

“I do not beat women,” he wrote in an open letted in 2018. “I did not beat up my ex-wife. Stop. You got beat up in court. How much money do you want? Do you want me to relinquish my rights to see my son? Is that what you want? Just tell me.” He continued, “After all the tweets and posts you made through the years, disrespecting me and my family, I still have love for you as the mother of my child, but I am done with this.”

Nas’ debut single “Halftime” was released in 1992 and would appear as the second song on his debut album, “Illmatic,” two years later. Since then, the 49-year-old has released over 10 albums that placed on Billboard’s 200 Albums list.

He also rapped about being a father on his single, “Daughters,” from his 2012 album “Life Is Good.” The track earned two nominations at the 2013 Grammys Awards for Best Rap Song and Best Rap Performance.

“A box of condoms on her dresser, then she Instagram’d it/ At this point I realized I ain’t the strictest parent/ I’m too loose, I’m too cool with her/ Should’ve drove more time to school with her/ I thought I dropped enough jewels on her.”

Nas went on to win his first Grammy Award in the Best Rap Album category for his Hit-Boy-produced project, “King’s Disease” in 2020.

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