When Nas and Kelis broke up, fans never really let it go. News of the couple became one-sided, as Kelis opted out of interviews and the bright public spotlight.
However, such was not the case when the mom-of-two sat down with Hollywood Unlocked. “I have edited myself for nine years, and I woke up this morning and was like ‘Not today,'” she said.
After waiting “nine years to say anything,” Kelis revealed that her ex-husband Nas physically abused her. As she matter-of-factly put it: “Did he hit me? Mhm. Did I hit him back? Mhm.”
Sitting at her house, wearing a long-sleeve, powder pink shirt, Kelis spoke candidly about the beginning and end of her relationship with Nas. Constantly reiterating that they were “really young,” the Flesh Tone artist said the two of them had “really intense highs and really intense lows.”
“It was never normal,” she said. “There’s no balance. There’s no normalcy.”
“To our credit, Nas got famous really young, and I signed my first deal at 17. […] There were so many things against us,” she added. “Beyond all the other personal stuff and all the stuff that went wrong with us, if you look at it on paper, it was hard anyway.”
She went on to add that the genre of music they choose alongside being in the public eye constantly didn’t help their situation. The star, who divorced Nas in 2009 while pregnant with her first child, credited being pregnant as the reason she left when she did.
After sharing that she “really did love [Nas],” she revealed that during low points of their relationship, they would get into physical fights. “We would fight,” she said. “I never just sat there, but we would definitely fight.”
Kelis went on to touch on the 2009 event that rocked the music world: Chris Brown and Rihanna’s domestic violence dispute.
“I remember, so clearly, when the pictures came out…” she began. “The only way I can describe it… It was like double dutch. I felt like, ‘Do I jump in? Do I say it?’ Because I had bruises all over my body at that time, like that day. […] Seeing her, the way she looked, and then looking at myself, I was embarrassed.”
“I remember being in Atlanta, sitting in the kitchen,” she continued. “And I wasn’t ready to walk. I just wasn’t. That’s why I didn’t say it.” The star went on to clarify that she’s not “weak,” “frail” or “scared” but “really private.”
She added: “So much of me was out of character in that marriage. Taking that was not my character.”
In the beginning…
When Nas and the “Bossy” artist first met, the two NYC natives seemed to follow the typical timeline of falling in love. After meeting at the MTV Video Music Awards party in 2002, they began dating, then got engaged in 2005. On Nas’ seventh album, Steet’s Disciple, he rapped candidly about his upcoming marriage to his fellow recording artist.
After publicly dating for two years, the duo married in 2005. Four years later, they split. Reports that Kelis filed for divorce due to irreconcilable differences came only three months before the birth of Nas’ first son, Knight.
After Knight was born, Nas announced his birth at a performance in Queens. He did so — despite Kelis telling him not to — after what was reportedly a heated argument between the couple about their son. He then announced the birth again online.
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