Rap veteran Nas has detailed his frustrations with Def Jam over complications with dropping Lost Tapes 2, a compilation of unreleased tracks, into retail stores.
Despite the aggravations, Nas admitted that efforts have been made by both parties, hoping to iron out their issues.
“You record a lot of records, and things that don’t make the album, they get put to the side and you don’t know what to do with them,” he explained. “They sit around and they start taking on a form of their own and it belongs [on] an album. That’s what I’d like to do. So of course my new album is priority for the record company people and even me, but [I’m] just trying to find time to put Lost Tapes and then this out–’cause everybody drops mixtapes and stuff like that and they don’t have a problem with it, but my sh*t comes and it’s like they’re holdin’ it with gloves…I’m like, come on, guys, I just wanna go out and play with the rest of ‘em; with the n*ggas out their putting their sh*t out…We’re working that out.” (XXL Mag)
In October, Nas penned an e-mail to Def Jam, calling out the label’s marketing practices.
“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 f*cked up situation.” (Karen Civil)
Nas also stressed the importance of releasing Lost Tapes in his e-mail.
“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 sh*t on a MAGICAL moment. You don’t get another Nas recording that doesn’t count against my deal….PERIOD! Keep your bullsh*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 sh*t coming out! Stop being your own worst enemy. Let’s get money!” (Karen Civil)
In September, Nas said his new compilation would drop December 14th.
“I’m unloading records I want the streets to hear,” the Queens rapper said in an e-mail. “Cleaning out my hard drives. Gonna do this [Lost Tapes 2], then start fresh. I’m dropping my solo LP before the summer of 2011. I love the energy the world has been giving me over the last two years. But now it’s time to focus on owning the streets again.” (MTV)
Check out Nas speaking on Lost Tapes 2 down below: