Ask any hip-hop aficionado worth their salt who is on their list of Top 5 rappers, you'd be hard pressed to find someone who doesn't put Nasir Jones, better known as Nas, on their list. The 43-year-old Queens, New York native has gone on to sell millions of records, and his debut album Illmatic is widely regarded as one of the greatest albums in the history of hip-hop. While Nas has been largely successful in the music business, he is looking to bring that same success to his investment portfolio.
Nas is a founding member of QueensBridge Venture Partners (named after his hometown of Queensbridge), a tech venture capital fund. Nas says that he looked to get involved in investing ever since he first heard the word "investment" in school.
Said Nas in an interview with Fast Company, "You invest your time, you can invest money and it was just a matter of time before it all fell into place for me. That's one of the things that I thought a lot about as a young kid — the guys behind the scenes who make things happen, help build people up, make dreams come true."
Nas went on to say that he wanted to get into tech investing because he wanted "to be surrounded by the smartest people in the world, and didn't want to limit that to just music."
QueensBridge Venture Partners invests anywhere from $100,000 to $500,000 in a company, according to Anthony Saleh, Nas' partner at Queensbridge, and manager. The competition to receive funding from QueensBridge is fierce, with roughly 100 companies pitching to the fund per month. Fewer than three of those companies are chosen by QueensBridge for an investment.
And it appears that QueensBridge's selective nature has paid off. Some of those companies that Nas and QueensBridge have invested in have been slam dunks, including Dropbox, Lyft, SeatGeek, General Assembly, Robinhood, Casper, and Genius.
Congrats to Nas for his success on and off the track.