While Nas is talking self-sacrificing inspiration in the June/July issue of Complex magazine, I can’t help but think the Queens rapper should have just followed his intuition when it comes to his marriage to Kelis, especially since he says he new it would never work.
The breakdown of their marriage is one of those entertainment mysteries that’s never really been exposed. One minute we knew Kelis was pregnant with their child, the next they were getting a divorce and Nas was paying out one of the largest alimony/child support payments we’d ever heard of. But years later, 38-year-old Nas has opened up to Complex about knowing when it was over and how their relationship is now, particularly as it relates to their son. Here’s what he had to say:
Whether he knew him and Kelis weren’t going to make it as a couple
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.
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.
When he knew it was over
There was a point where we were trying to hold onto a relationship that was finished. She was pregnant and in the studio while we were recording Distant Relatives, and he would move when the music would come on. That was a great feeling for me, just to have that feeling of family. It ended around the time the record was being done.
There were times when it didn’t bother me, and there were times when it bothered me a lot. There were times when I was thinking, ‘Damn. I had this sh** all planned out, and now I’ve failed’. That was hard on me, because I don’t like to fail at anything. Accepting that I failed at this relationship—and it was public—messed me up. You ask yourself, ‘How could that person be so cold’? And I’m sure she felt the same way about me. It was ugly.
What their relationship is like now
It’s a lot better.
Whether he gets to see his son
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.
Whether he ever hated Kelis
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.
[...] 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.
How he feels about losing money in the divorce
It’s f***ed up when money’s involved in divorce. And I don’t give a f-ck. I can’t take it with me, so someone can take the money. Anyone that I’m married to, if I give you my life, I give you my heart, I love you—my money is nothing. You can have it all. It’s just sad that when you’re dealing with love and life and marriage, that marriage is a contract. It’s a business deal. That messes people up.
How he feels about women now
I’m taken aback by the beauty of women. There was a time when I only saw big breasts and thick a**es. Now, I see the beauty in the subtleties. Those are even better than the tits and a**. The aesthetics have changed for me….
No disrespect to women when I say bad b****, but my definition of a bad b**** is not always the video vixens. A bad b**** can be a younger woman, in her early 20s, but wise beyond her years. It could be a woman in her late 30s, who’s cool as hell, smart, and has great motherly qualities—or has great motivational skills, or is a powerful mover and shaker in her own career….
Michelle Obama is the most beautiful woman on the planet. She cares about people. All first ladies have their jobs to do, but you can feel her sincerity.
Whether he ever sees himself 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.
What he’ll tell his son about women
He has to have his own life. My experience could be the wrong thing for his life and what’s ahead of him. A lot of older people are giving the worst advice, based on the problems they had. I’m going to need him to tell me what to do. That’s what I’m looking forward to. If I’m here, we’ll talk. If not, he’s going to figure it out on his own. He’ll take his mother’s words, he’ll take my words, and then there’s the truth. Whatever he feels, he’s got to go with his heart, and be a man in every occasion
Am I the only one who just fell slightly in love with this man after reading this? It’s too bad Nas and Kelis had to go through what they did but the important thing is he didn’t come out of the situation with the same mindset to repeat the mistake again.
What do you think about his interview?
Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.
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