Nas 'Declares War' on Record Label

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"This isn't the 90's though. Beefing with record labels is so 15 years ago." So begins the ironic third paragraph of a ranting email written by rapper Nas to his superiors at Def Jam.  In it he accuses the label of short-changing him by standing in the way "of a creative artist’s dream and aspirations." And his tone makes it clear that the New York State of Mind rapper (who wasn't upset that the email leaked) is not pleased with the current state of his record deal.

For those interested, the letter airs Nas's feelings about major labels ("executives think they are the stars. You aren’t….not even close"), his frustrations with his new album's budget ("Keep your bullshit $200,000.00 fund"), and the fate of the music executives ("There is a thing called KARMA that comes to haunt you when you tamper with the aligning stars").

Here's the introductory paragraph. The full statement can be found here:

From: Nas
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.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.