A week after Nas‘ scathing e-mail to Def Jam Records began circulating the Internet, Shyne spoke with SOHH & offered his thoughts on his groupmate’s frustration.
In light of Nas’ issues with the label, Shyne said he completely understood the rap veteran’s complaints.
“It’s crazy because I got a letter out too,” Shyne told SOHH. “And that’s on MTV.com. It’s on a blog journal I’m doing for them. It’s crazy. I wrote my letter about a week or two ago so when I heard [about Nas’ e-mail], the last person I spoke to told me about it. I definitely support his position and that’s what happened to hip-hop. That’s what happened to music but definitely hip-hop. You got a bunch of executives that don’t know nothing about music and they got their job by tying somebody’s shoe laces, folding their pants for them and don’t know anything about music. And unfortunately and especially with Def Jam, you got a leader of the record company that if he could have one wish, he would wish that hip-hop didn’t exist. That’s what I feel.” (SOHH)
Shyne also spoke on Def Jam’s executives and their inability to properly promote their artists.
“So they not gonna understand that Nas and Ghostface are modern day prophets,” Shyne added. “Of course they don’t understand the depths and complexities of selling an artist and [that] it’s not just selling music. It’s not just a hit Top 40 record. You gotta sell a lifestyle. But they so used to selling these rappers that are characters and then cup it with the fact that they don’t like rappers period, so definitely he don’t understand why people are buying an ex-prison guard’s records. He don’t even get that. So he’s confused. They don’t get that. I definitely support Nas.” (SOHH)
Nas’ letter hit the Internet and criticized Def Jam for their business 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)
He also stressed the importance of releasing a quality project like Lost Tapes.
“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 at Columbia. 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. 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)
Check out a recent Nas interview below: