Rappers Nicki Minaj and Nas have reportedly called time on their rumoured relationship.

The hip-hop stars were first linked in May, 2016, when they were spotted dining at Nas' Los Angeles restaurant Sweet Chick, but they didn't flaunt their romance, and only made rare public appearances together.

Now a source tells TMZ.com the musicians decided to part ways in late 2017, claiming that living in different cities proved too much for them to maintain their relationship.

The MCs both hail from Queens, New York, but Nas is thought to have spent much of his time of late in Los Angeles.

The pair last stepped out together in the Big Apple for the I Can hitmaker's joint birthday party with producer Swizz Beatz in September, when Nicki wore a sexy, low-cut black dress as she linked arms with Nas, who was turning 44. They also appeared more than happy to pose for photos with Swizz and his wife, superstar Alicia Keys, at the bash.

Nicki and Nas had also been dropping subtle hints about their love for each other on social media, often 'liking' one another's posts, and on 8 December, as Nicki turned 35, she received a very special shout out on Instagram.

Sharing a picture of Nicki wearing a crown as she sat on a gold throne, Nas wrote: "Queens Get The MFkN Money! Happy Birthday To The QUEEN OF NY/HIP HOP @nickiminaj."

The romance was Nicki's first since confirming she had split from another rapper, Meek Mill, in January, 2017, and during an interview on America's The Ellen DeGeneres Show in late May, she confessed she was tempted to break her celibacy vow for "cute" Nas.

Admitting they had enjoyed "sleepovers", she shared, "I go to him. I just thought him coming to me was too forward."

She and Nas, who was previously married to singer Kelis, have yet to comment on the break-up speculation.