Rap veteran Nas is moving from artist to executive with the launch of Mass Appeal Records and will finally have his delayed Lost Tapes 2 hit store shelves this year. #FinallyHere

Details of Nasty Nas’ big power move surfaced online Friday (May 16).

The venerated rapper, 40, is launching Mass Appeal Records, an independent record label, which, in addition to shepherding a new generation of hip-hop hopefuls, will also provide an outlet for new Nas music when his contract with Def Jam expires later this year. Mass Appeal Records is co-founded by Peter Bittenbender, 36, and will succeed Decon Records. (Billboard)

Along with Lost Tapes 2, multiple hip-hop releases will also come out under the Mass Appeal imprint.

First among Mass Appeal Records releases, arriving late this summer, will be an annual compilation album featuring friends of the brand like Future, Pusha T, Mac Miller, A$AP Mob and Nas himself performing a cover of the 1994 Gang Starr single that gave the company its name. Also on deck is “Lost Tapes 2,” a collection of unreleased Nas music, and a posthumous album from Pimp C that will pair the Houston icon and UGK member with modern production titans like Mike Will Made It and DJ Mustard. (Billboard)

Back in February, Nasir Jones teased fans about his Lost Tapes series.


“It’s like I gave myself a 40th birthday present 20 years ago,” the rapper says. “It gives me a reference piece to look at myself and for me to analyze my life and what i’ve come from; my accomplishments; my dreams.” There’s also a new album, which the rapper said will be out “sometime in 2014,” but declined to give any further details. Asked if the nostalgic year means fans may finally see a release of the long-awaited, shelved, Lost Tapes 2 album, Nas brought it back to the show. “After Illmatic comes fresh new music. Right now my new show is a visual Lost Tapes 2, 3, 4, 5 and then some.” (Rolling Stone)

Nas said the follow-up to 2002’s compilation project became a lost cause when trying to deal with the powers that be at Def Jam in 2011.

“When I released the other Lost Tapes, I was at Sony,” Nas explained in an interview. “Being at Sony for so long, I was used to things going easily — with Def Jam, I’d just gotten there, so I’m still in my Sony ways, like ‘Yeah, this record is going to come out this time and I’m going to set up from that. Then a few months later I’m going to drop this … ‘ But they’re like ‘We just started working together so we can do this but wait. Maybe we should do it like this?’ I wasn’t used to that and then there was no communication at all and I really wasn’t used to that — with Sony, I wasn’t used to a lot of communication, we understood what we were doing…We don’t have to sit around. With Def Jam, it was more ‘Let’s sit down and have tea.’ I wasn’t used to that and it kinda messed up my flow. The timing for [the compilation] is gone, now it’s just all about the new record.” (MTV)