Here's your weekly "artist fights label publicly" news: Nas has taken to an open letter to L.A. Reid to air his grievances with Def Jam, claiming that he has finished the sequel to the Lost Tapes, and Def Jam is saying it will put the record out, but won't count it as part of his deal and won't pay for it. So Nas wrote the below letter where he kindly reminds L.A. Reid that he is not his "slave":
To: LA Reid, Steve Bartels, Steve Gawley, Michael Seltzer, Joseph Borrino, Chris Hicks Subject: PUT MY SH*T OUT!
Peace to all,
With all do respect to you all, Nas is NOBODY’s slave. This is not the 1800′s, respect me and I will respect you.
I won’t even tap dance around in an email, I will get right into it. People connect to the Artist @ the end of the day, they don’t connect with the executives. Honestly, nobody even cares what label puts out a great record, they care about who recorded it. Yet time and time again its the executives who always stand in the way of a creative artist’s dream and aspirations. You don’t help draw the truth from my deepest and most inner soul, you don’t even do a great job @ selling it. The #1 problem with DEF JAM is pretty simple and obvious, the executives think they are the stars. You aren’t…. not even close. As a matter of fact, you wish you were, but it didn’t work out so you took a desk job. To the consumer, I COME FIRST. Stop trying to deprive them! I have a fan base that dies for my music and a RAP label that doesn’t understand RAP. Pretty fucked up situation
This isn’t the 90′s though. Beefing with record labels is so 15 years ago. @ this point I just need you all to be very clear where I stand and how I feel about “my label.” I could go on twitter or hot 97 tomorrow and get 100,000 protesters @ your building but I choose to walk my own path my own way because since day one I have been my own man. I did business with Tommy Mottola and Donnie Einer, two of the most psycho dudes this business ever created. I worked well with them for one major reason……. they believed in me. The didn’t give a f**k about what any radio station or magazine said….those dudes had me.
Lost Tapes is a movement and a very important set up piece for my career as it stands. I started this over 5 years ago @ Columbia and nobody knew what it was or what it did but the label put it out as an LP and the fans went crazy for it and I single handlely built a new brand of rap albums. It’s smart and after 5 years it’s still a head of the game. This feels great and you not feeling what I’m feeling is disturbing. Don’t get in the way of my creativity. We are aligned with the stars here, this is a movement. There is a thing called KARMA that comes to haunt you when you tamper with the aligning stars. WE ARE GIVING THE PEOPLE EXACTLY WHAT THEY WANT. Stop throwing dog s**ton a MAGICAL moment.
You don’t get another Nas recording that doesn’t count against my deal….PERIOD! Keep your bulls**t $200,000.00 fund. Open the REAL budget. This is a New York pioneers ALBUM, there ain’t many of us. I am ready to drop in the 4th quarter. You don’t even have s**tcoming out! Stop being your own worst enemy. Let’s get money!
It's crazy that Def Jam wouldn't be interested in releasing an album from Nas, even if it is an album of rarities. Well, technically, the label will put it out, but not on Nas' terms. The label not having anything come out is kind of not true, though; they have the new Kanye album coming out. And from the label's perspective, it's not like Nas is killing Hot 97 anymore. So I guess I get this from both sides. Let's just agree an angry Internet letter isn't going to solve anything.