Nasir bin Olu Dara Jones(), formerly Nasty Nas, is an American rapper and actor. He is regarded as one of the most important figures in hip hop. His debut album Illmatic, released in 1994 by Columbia Records, was critically acclaimed and would go on to be widely hailed a classic in the genre. MTV ranked him at #5 on their list of The Greatest MCs (Rappers) of All Time. Editors of About.com ranked him #4 on their list of the Top 50 MCs of Our Time (1987–2007), making him the highest ranking rapper of his generation (ahead of The Notorious B.I.G., Jay-Z and 2Pac).