The Truth About Kelis And Nas' Relationship

When Nicki Minaj released her album "Queen" in 2018, the rapper seemingly hinted at her relationship with fellow veteran hip-hop artist Nasir Jones, more popularly known as Nas, on the lead track. "You put a part in your fade, oh, you Nas, bae," she rapped on "Ganga Burn" (via Genius). Earlier that year reports broke that they had broken up after spending seven months as an item (via Us Weekly). Interestingly, there was another musician who was vocally upset about their breakup — "Milkshake" singer and ex-wife to Nas, Kelis. 

She didn't shy away from expressing her thoughts on their decision to call it quits. "I don't want him," Kelis said about her ex-husband to host Jason Lee of Hollywood Unlocked. "First of all, it's so funny because people thought I was angry. Why? Take him! Please dear God, take him back! Please! I beg of you take him back!"

Although it's been over a decade since Nas and Kelis were romantically linked, recent headlines suggest their separation is anything but amicable.

Kelis and Nas began their relationship in 2002

Kelis told Hollywood Unlocked that the couple met in 2002 when she was 22; Nas was nearly 6 years her senior. The two crossed paths at a MTV Video Music Awards after party hosted by Diddy when the "Stillmatic" rapper approached the up-and-coming musician with an unforgettable pick-up line.

"What's your name again," Nas asked Kelis at the event, as she recalled in a 2003 interview with Complex. When Kelis told him, the Queens native said, "I had to make sure, because ... I've been wanting to make you my wife for years." It turns out the Harlem-born singer had been crushing on him, too. Her response? "That's great, 'cause that's what I wanna be."

In the same profile, Kelis explained that the two took their time getting to know each other and kept a low profile. Kelis told the magazine that Nas proposed in front of her friends and family at her mother's house on Christmas Eve in 2002.

"She's my best friend," Nas told Complex. "To get married now, it's only right." 

The musical couple wed in 2005 in Atlanta, Georgia, according to The Source. "Grown-Ish" star Yara Shahidi, cousin to Nas, served as the flower girl for the nuptials (via Essence). Unfortunately as time went on, their happily-ever-after dreams of a loving, sustainable marriage didn't come true.

Kelis and Nas broke up when fans least expected

By April 2009, Kelis and Nas had been open about a special time in their marriage; the "Bossy" star was pregnant with their first child. Despite rumors that Nas was allegedly cheating, which Kelis confirmed in a 2018 interview with Hollywood Unlocked, Nas reassured fans that the two were in fact not headed towards splitsville.

In fact, MTV caught up with him earlier that month while Kelis was seven months pregnant. The rapper revealed that he and his wife were stuck on deciding baby names. That's why their divorce announcement just a few weeks later made headlines (via Billboard). Kelis filed and cited irreconcilable differences. The two were married for just four years. 

In July 2009, the "Bossy" singer gave birth to their son Knight. That December it was announced that Nas would have to pay a sizable amount of roughly $51,000 a month in both spousal and child support (via MTV). That number was an increase from the $40,000 he had to pay starting back in July.

Financial and legal battles, though, were perhaps just the beginning of their various public woes.

Kelis alleged Nas was physically and emotionally abusive

Almost a decade after their divorce, Kelis revealed some serious abuse allegations against her ex-husband. In a 2018 interview with Hollywood Unlocked, she detailed the alleged violence that occurred during the time of her pregnancy. She even shared that if she wasn't pregnant at the time, she might very well still be with the rapper. She told the outlet that there were both extreme highs and lows during the former power couple's reportedly tumultuous marriage.

Kelis divulged that part of the reason she decided to separate from Nas was seeing disturbing photos of Rihanna's physical abuse at the hands of Chris Brown (via The Guardian). She explained how seeing Rihanna made her see herself at that moment in time.

"I remember so clearly when the pictures came out with that whole thing that happened with her and Chris Brown ... I had bruises all over my body," Kelis told Hollywood Unlocked. Although she didn't come out about the alleged abuse then, she shared why she waited nine years to speak publicly. 

"I don't like people in my business. I felt like, 'This is my partner. I chose this. We're gonna do this, we're gonna make it work.'" 

Nas vehemently denied the claims in a series of since-deleted Instagram posts, via BBC.

Nas and Kelis have both moved on

There was a point in time when Kelis believed Nas was the one (via Us Weekly). After their divorce was finalized in early 2010, Kelis would soon find another love of her life.

In 2014, she wed realtor and photographer, Mike Mora. The couple welcomed a son, Shepherd, in 2015, and a daughter, Galilee, in 2020 (via The U.S. Sun). While growing her family, Kelis also made a major life change by moving out of Los Angeles and buying a farm in Temecula, California. She told Harper's Bazaar that rural farm life wasn't just for the pastural aesthetics; it's hard work! Kelis and her family grow fresh produce and even care for livestock, which she also detailed in the Harper's Bazaar YouTube series "What I Eat in a Day."

In March 2022, Mora tragically passed away. He was only 37.

Nas has not remarried, but, by the looks of his Instagram, he seems to be focusing on fatherhood and his music career. A recent update there saw him posing for a photo with his daughter, Destiny Jones.

If you or someone you know is dealing with domestic abuse, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233. You can also find more information, resources, and support at their website.