Nas: Return of the Don (2012 Cover Story)

Nas: Return of the Don (2012 Cover Story)Interview by Rob Mariott (@tafari); Photography by Kareem Black (@kareemblack); Styling by June Ambrose; Additional Credits.
After you say “I do,” everything changes.
Yeah.

Did you see a problem immediately?
Yeah, but it was a problem I was attracted to. It was rock and roll. I saw Kelis as Courtney Love—but I also saw her as a mahogany queen. I saw us as a beautiful thing. I saw us as inspiration. People weren’t seeing hip-hop artists get married. A lot of people came at me crazy. But I think overall, we were inspiring people to love.

 

My daughter would be calling me, like, 'Dad, they’re talking about you on the radio.' She wanted to tweet back, and I told her to take the high road. It was ugly.

 

There was a lot that was thrown at her that she couldn’t handle. Like I was saying earlier, there’s a lot that I could tell my kids, but they’ve got to fish it out for themselves. Every night, she was in bed with Harvard. She was sleeping with Harvard. She had all the answers, but I needed something more from her, that she either wasn’t ready or didn’t know how to provide. Plus, she is younger than me and she hadn’t seen all the things I had seen. She was on her journey, I was on mine. In the beginning, I said, “There’s parts of this that might not work,” but there was a beautiful part of it, too. For the most part, I had a great time being married. It was amazing. She’s an amazing woman.

She never threw daggers at you in the media.
No, she did. Over Twitter, and there were things.

In an article, she said that she wasn’t going to say anything bad about you.
That was later, because the response was not good. There were bad tweets. She was angry. She was lashing out at anyone—and anyone she would lash out at, people automatically thought she was talking about me. My daughter would be calling me, like, “Dad. I’m on my way to school, and they’re talking about you on the radio.” My daughter wanted to tweet back and shit, and I told her to take the high road. It was ugly.

How is it now?
It’s a lot better.

So there are no issues? You see your son as you please?
That side is not great yet, but it’s working toward being that way. She’s a new mom. I’m busy and she’s busy. From what I see, she’s being a good mom, and it’s working toward a great place. There was a time when I couldn’t see him at all. It was terrible when the divorce was fresh.

Did you ever get to a point where you hated her?
No. I got to a point where I was like, “Did she always hate me?” and “Did she ever love me at all?” I’ve got to admit, I did feel like that. But she did love me.

The backlash is because she loved so hard.
Exactly. They wind up taking it out on you. A lot of divorces are bad because a woman is just being vindictive. She’s not after the money, she just wants you to hurt the way she was hurt.

Could you ever see yourself getting married again?
Not right now. I’m enjoying life and looking at each day like, “This is beautiful.” I’m having a good time. I’m not going to bring anybody in to mess that up. You come around looking like you’re going to mess this good time up, you’re out of here—fast. [Laughs.] I’m not sacrificing my happiness for nobody and their drama. No way.

Can you read it quicker?
I see it a mile away.

WATCH NAS' BEHIND-THE-SCENES VIDEO:

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ADDITIONAL CREDITS: (SET DESIGN) Robert Sumrell. (GROOMING) Jap. (CLOTHING) FIRST IMAGE: Shirt by Ralph Lauren / Pants by RRL / All jewelry Nas' own. SECOND IMAGE: Shirt by J. Crew / Shorts by JC Rags / Hat by Yohji Yamamoto. THIRD & FOURTH IMAGE: T-shirt by Calvin Klein / Shorts by Ralph Lauren / Boots by Timberland / Hat by Capas Headwear / Eyewear by June Ambrose Eyewear. FIFTH & COVER IMAGE: Shirt by Woolrich Woolen Mills / Tank by Polo Ralph Lauren / Shorts by Rocawear / Boots by Timberland / Hat by Kangol / All jewelry Nas' own.

Tags: nas, complex-cover-stories
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