Nas’s Back Tax Troubles Get Worse

Nas’s new album may be titled Life Is Good, but that hardly describes the state of the Queensbridge rapper’s financial affairs. Turns out the man behind Illmatic owes the IRS a whopping $6 million in back taxes.

In fact, the IRS has already started garnishing his wages. When you’re an artist, that means the money your fans spend on your music – if they even bother to spend money – goes straight to the IRS. Technically, his wages are being garnished through the music publishing organizations BMI and ASCAP. As taxpayers, let’s hope Nas doesn’t have a lot of libertarian fans.

Lucky for him, Life Is Good is looking like one of the most anticipated rap albums of the year after his latest single “The Don” – a case of art imitating life, perhaps? – dropped earlier this month.

Nas is no stranger to tax trouble. Last year, Rolling Stone reported that he owed the IRS $6.4 million in back taxes. The agency filed a $514,298 tax lien in January 2011, a $3 million lien in February 2010, and a $2.5 million lien in October 2009. Plus he hadn’t paid his condo fees in almost a year and was struggling to make the $5,000 a month child support payments and $20,000 a month spousal support payments he owes ex-wife Kelis, whose milkshake may bring the boys to the yard, but has considerably less success with alimony checks.

Alas, no matter how successful his album turns out to be, it doesn’t look like it’s going to be a very bright year for Nas, but as Jay-Z noted, on a track with which I’m sure Nas is familiar, “Along with celebrity comes ’bout seventy shots to your brain.”

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