Music marketing pioneer Steve Stoute has opened up about his relationship with Nas and detailed the ultimate goals he had for God’s Son while mapping out his career.
According to Stoute, his time residing as president of Sony’s urban department allowed him an opportunity to work closely with the label’s rap star.
“I had a vision for him. I felt like it was my job to make him the biggest guy in the world. I wanted the world to hear his music. I didn’t want him to become a great lyricist but end up like Kool G Rap, a lyricist the world doesn’t get to hear. I felt like I could take the responsibility and make the Nas movement bigger and not keep it confined to the Tri-State area, so to speak. He allowed me to do that. When we were together, we made a lot of noise and I made him an international star.” (Complex)
Stoute also clarified past remarks he made suggesting Nas is not up on keeping pace with Jay-Z and 50 Cent.
“When I say that he’s running a different race from 50, I mean, he’s clearly a better artist than 50, so that has nothing to do with it. He just doesn’t want to do the other stuff. Had he chosen to do the other stuff, he could have made a lot more money. He doesn’t even talk about business like that. What’s successful is when you are good at what you aim to do. And I don’t think that Nas has aimed to do anything that he hasn’t done. So he is a good businessman.” (Complex)
Last year, Nas provided his opinion on the “Greatest Rapper of All Time” debate.
“There is no best or greatest MC. Should never happen, doesn’t make sense,” he said in a blog post. “It makes sense temporarily when you’re striving to be number one. It makes sense for [the fans] to see that, but you have a long run to be the greatest. To me, people already felt like they were [the greatest] in more ways than they should have and I think that hurt them. There is no greatest of all time. We won’t know that until we’re 60 years old. I think there will be like four to five great ones at the end of the day, but there will be none that’s greater than the other. Impossible…[Jay-Z] is the one that smacks everybody in the face that’s out there and wanted to say what he wasn’t and what he couldn’t do. The challenge is that people always count you out and even when you have a hit record and put out a hit album, you’re gonna have people dissing you. I think he’s showing you: I won’t be stopped ever. And that’s motivation for everyone else.” (VIBE)
Stoute is widely known for his extensive run in the music industry.
Began career in the music industry as a road manager, 1990; became Artists & Repertoire (A & R) executive with Sony Records, then the Interscope label, based in New York City; became president of black music at Interscope, c. 1998; made executive vice president at Interscope Geffen A & M Records; founded marketing company, PASS, with Peter Arnell, 2001, sold to Cultura, 2002. (Answers)
Check out Steve Stoute speaking on Nas below: