Nas & Kelis: In Happier Times

In the aftermath of Nas and Kelis’ separation, we’re taking a moment to look back on a relationship once filled with love and trust. In 2006, Rap-Up interviewed Kelis for a story that appeared in the magazine’s Winter 06/07 issue.

Seated at a Manhattan bistro with Nas only a few tables away, Kelis spoke candidly about throwing a surprise birthday party for her man, what gift she gave him, how she thwarts divorce, and her deep friendship with the Queensbridge MC.

Read what she had to say about her soon-to-be ex-husband in happier times.

You threw a surprise party for Nas’ birthday. How did you manage to keep that a secret?
I did. He didn’t know and no one told him. I kept the show a surprise. No one knew there were going to be performers except for me and four other people I was working with that put it together. All old-school hip-hop performers: Slick Rick, Doug E. Fresh, Dana Dane, Bizzy B, Melle Mel, Monie Love, Just Ice…

What gift did he receive that really blew his mind?
I enrolled him in film school. I think it was his favorite. I mean he loves seeing all his favorite guys. That was a big surprise. Birthdays are a big deal to me.

Statistics show that marriages occurring at a younger age have a high divorce rate. How do you and Nas fend off that doom?
I really don’t. Whatever happens, happens. It’s life. I love my husband. We have a great life. We’ve been together four years now and we were together two before we got married. I knew before I met him that I was gonna marry him, I knew when I met him, I knew when I married him, and I know today.

The meaning behind your husband’s birthname, Nasir, means “a helper and protector.”
I thought it meant victory also.

Well, with all those meanings, does he help you around the house?
He helps because he’s my best friend more than anything. He’s like someone who I trust with everything equally.

Interview by Georgette Cline