Foreign Gists

The ugly backstory of Nas and Kelis’ messy divorce


Nas is one of the most exuberant forces in hip hop. Not content with delivering the standout record of the 1990s, the influential rapper has now started to aim at that most elusive of titles: mogul. He appears to be investing his money in other places to make sure his family wants for nothing.

Speaking of Nas and family, one of his children, Knight, he conceived with none other than the legendary ‘Milkshake’ singer Kelis. It has undoubtedly been a while since we heard Nas and Kelis’ names in the same sentence. However, just like 50 Cent and Vivica A. Fox, they were considered one of hip hop’s most renowned couples at one point.

Between 2002 and 2009, the couple seemed to be a match made in heaven, with Nas even getting a tattoo of Kelis’ silhouette on his arm. The pair even got married in 2005. However, the couple’s relationship quickly crumbled, and the two have been at odds since the marriage’s rapid demise.

According to Kelis, the two first met in 2002 at an MTV Music Awards after-party hosted by Diddy Combs in Los Angeles. In an interview with VIBE magazine, the singer (real name Kelis Rogers-Mora) revealed that the rapper initially attempted to appear shy but quickly began wooing her once they got acquainted.

Detailing their first meeting, the singer recalled, “Everyone moves out of the way, Nas stands up, and I put my hand out, and I’m like, Hey, I’m Kelis, and he goes, ‘Who?’…So I’m crawling into a f**king hole, and he’s like, ‘Wait-huh? What’s your name? And I’m like, Kelis, and he’s like, ‘Oh, well, that’s great, because I’ve been waiting to make you my wife all these years.’”

A brazen move that clearly paid off as they got married a mere three years later in 2005. Everything seemed to be plain sailing for the first three years of their marriage. However, in 2008 rumours of infidelity on Nas’ side began swirling through hip-hop. Still, nevertheless, media outlets weren’t able to certify the rumours as the two lived an extremely private lifestyle.

Unfortunately, it seemed as if those previously baseless rumours were true, and in April of 2009, a seven-month pregnant Kelis filed for a divorce. The nitty-gritty of their demise was never disclosed by either party publicly. With the divorce proceedings coming to an end in 2010, by 2018, the singer was ready to air dirty laundry.

In a 2018 interview with Hollywood Unlocked, the ‘Millionaire’ singer alleged that the Queens rapper was repeatedly committing acts of domestic violence against her while they were married and labelled their relationship as “toxic.”

Furthermore, during what can only be classed as a vengeful diatribe, the singer effectively insinuated that the violence was a result of alcoholism and recalled how he would “drink too much”. Venting to the host Jason Lee the singer proclaimed, “I’ve waited nine years to say anything. I’ve never talked about this man. Ever … Did he hit me? Mmhmm [yes]. Did I hit him back? Mmhmm [yes],” she said. “I’m not afraid to throw a punch, but I wouldn’t have started it. I’ll participate in ending it, but I wouldn’t have started it.”

Nas combated Kelis’ claims by sharing a seven-part statement on Instagram denying all the allegations against him. No one was there, so no one can verify Kelis’ claims. However, similarly, nobody can be 100% certain of Nas’ innocence, all that we know as fans is that whatever happened during their relationship, the divorce and its aftermath has been very messy. You can watch Kelis’ interview below, in which she talks about divorce proceedings, battling for custody and where the two celebrities stand today.