Record labels and artists not seeing eye to eye is as old as the microphone itself. A few weeks ago, news broke of Nas releasing Lost Tapes 2 later this year and immediately interest surrounded around the project. Whether this is actually true or not, Jones wrote a letter to the house Rick and Russell built over disagreements with the way planning for the project was going down – including only a $200,000 budget.
Below is supposedly the transcript of what was said. No beating around the bush here.
To: LA Reid, Steve Bartels, Steve Gawley, Michael Seltzer, Joseph Borrino, Chris Hicks
Subject: PUT MY SHIT OUT!
Peace to all,
With all do respect to you all, Nas is NOBODYâ€™s slave. This is not the 1800â€²s, respect me and I will respect you.
I wonâ€™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 donâ€™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 artistâ€™s dream and aspirations. You donâ€™t help draw the truth from my deepest and most inner soul, you donâ€™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 arenâ€™tâ€¦. not even close. As a matter of fact, you wish you were, but it didnâ€™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 doesnâ€™t understand RAP. Pretty fucked up situation.
This isnâ€™t the 90â€²s though. Beefing with record labels is so 15 years ago. @ this point I just need you all to be very clear where I stand and how I feel about â€œmy label.â€ I could go on twitter or hot 97 tomorrow and get 100,000 protesters @ your building but I choose to walk my own path my own way because since day one I have been my own man. I did business with Tommy Mottola and Donnie Einer, two of the most psycho dudes this business ever created. I worked well with them for one major reasonâ€¦â€¦. they believed in me. The didnâ€™t give a fuck about what any radio station or magazine saidâ€¦.those dudes had me.
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. Itâ€™s smart and after 5 years itâ€™s still a head of the game. This feels great and you not feeling what Iâ€™m feeling is disturbing. Donâ€™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 shit on a MAGICAL moment.
You donâ€™t get another Nas recording that doesnâ€™t count against my dealâ€¦.PERIOD! Keep your bullshit $200,000.00 fund. Open the REAL budget. This is a New York pioneers ALBUM, there ainâ€™t many of us. I am ready to drop in the 4th quarter. You donâ€™t even have shit coming out! Stop being your own worst enemy. Letâ€™s get money!
On a more positive note, Nas recently gave his coveted co-sign to a man you’ve seen around here in recent weeks. None other than Jon Connor.