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There’s no reason for Nas to be as commercially successful as he is. When you look at other rappers with multiple number one albums – Eminem, Jay Z, Kanye – it makes sense because their music is tailored for the masses.

Nas, on the other hand, has singles like “Made You Look”, “One Mic” and “Nas Is Like.” Definitely not in the same vein as “I Just Wanna Love U (Give It 2 Me)”, “Gold Digger” or “Lose Yourself.”

And yet, over the past 20 plus years, Nas has put out over 15 projects, including six number one albums, and over half of them going platinum.

Here are the rankings for Nas’ first week album sales, from Illmatic to King’s Disease II.

The Lost Tapes 2

Released: July 19, 2019

Label: Mass Appeal, Def Jam

First week album sales: 23,000

Billboard 200 position: 10

Singles: “Jarreau of Rap (Skatt Attack)”

King’s Disease

Released: August 21, 2020

Label: Mass Appeal

First week album sales: 47,000

Billboard 200 position: 5

Singles: “Ultra Black”

King’s Disease II

Released: August 6, 2021

Label: Mass Appeal

First week album sales: 52,000

Billboard 200 position: 3

Singles: “Rare”

Distant Relatives (with Damian Marley)

Released: May 18, 2010

Label: Universal Republic, Def Jam

First week album sales: 57,000

Billboard 200 position: 5

Singles: “As We Enter”, “Strong Will Continue”, “My Generation”

Illmatic

Released: April 19, 1994

Label: Columbia

First week album sales: 59,000

Billboard 200 position: 12

Singles: “Halftime”, “It Ain’t Hard to Tell”, “Life’s a Bitch”, “The World Is Yours”, “One Love”

The Lost Tapes

Released: September 23, 2002

Label: Ill Will, Columbia

First week album sales: 70,000

Billboard 200 position: 10

Singles: N/A

Nasir

Released: June 15, 2018

Label: Mass Appeal, Def Jam

First week album sales: 77,000

Billboard 200 position: 5

Singles: N/A

The Album (as The Firm)

Released: October 21, 1997

Label: Aftermath, Interscope

First week album sales: 147,000

Billboard 200 position: 1

Singles: “Firm Biz”, “Phone Tap”

Life is Good

Released: July 13, 2012

Label: Def Jam

First week album sales: 149,000

Billboard 200 position: 1

Singles: “Nasty”, “The Don”, “Daughters”, “Cherry Wine”

God’s Son

Released: December 13, 2002

Label: Ill Will, Columbia

First week album sales: 156,000

Billboard 200 position: 1

Singles: “Made You Look”, “I Can”, “Get Down”

Untitled

Released: July 11, 2008

Label: Def Jam, Columbia, The Jones Experience

First week album sales: 187,078

Billboard 200 position: 1

Singles: “Hero”, “Make the World Go Round”

Street’s Disciple

Released: November 30, 2004

Label: Ill Will, Columbia

First week album sales: 232,000

Billboard 200 position: 5

Singles: “Thief’s Theme”, “Bridging the Gap”, “Just a Moment”

Nastradamus

Released: November 23, 1999

Label: Ill Will, Columbia

First week album sales: 232,000

Billboard 200 position: 7

Singles: “Nastradamus”, “You Owe Me”

It Was Written

Released: July 2 1996

Label: Columbia

First week album sales: 268,000

Billboard 200 position: 1

Singles: “If I Ruled the World (Imagine That)”, “Street Dreams”, “The Message”

Stillmatic

Released: December 18 2001

Label: Ill Will, Columbia

First week album sales: 342,000

Billboard 200 position: 8

Singles: “Rule”, “Got Ur Self A…”, “The Flyest”, “One Mic”

Hip Hop is Dead

Released: December 15, 2006

Label: Def Jam

First week album sales: 355,800

Billboard 200 position: 1

Singles: “Hip Hop Is Dead”, “Can’t Forget About You”

I Am…

Released: April 6, 1999

Label: Columbia

First week album sales: 470,000

Billboard 200 position: 1

Singles: “Nas Is Like”, “Hate Me Now”

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