The reason why Lost Tapes 2 isn’t coming out

The sequel to 2002’s Lost Tapes is ready to be released, and Def Jam is apparently willing to put it out, but they’re supposedly saying that it won’t count on his deal and that they won’t give him any money, although in the e-mail below addressed to Def Jam’s top execs from Nas, they seemed to have offered him $200k for it. They also allegedly still want all of the benefits that come from releasing a Nas album.

From: Nas
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 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. 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 fucked up situation

This isn’t the 90’s 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 “my label.” 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 reason……. they believed in me. The didn’t give a fuck about what any radio station or magazine said….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. 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 shit on a MAGICAL moment.

You don’t get another Nas recording that doesn’t count against my deal….PERIOD! Keep your bullshit $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 shit coming out! Stop being your own worst enemy. Let’s get money!

-N.Jones

via The Lefsetz Letter

I guess getting 100,000 of his fans to start a protest in front of the Def Jam offices is something he refuses to do, but letting an e-mail like this get out and brewing up an internet shitstorm is alright.

Either way, if Nas’ following is as strong as he says it is, and why wouldn’t it be, Def Jam’s reluctance to change his contract restrictions or pay him for unreleased songs shouldn’t be enough to stop him. Think about it, there should be other ways around this if they’re not counting it as a contractual obligation or trying to claim these songs that Nas might have recorded outside of his Def Jam days.

Then again, if there had been another way, we might not have even known about the issue.

Update: The letter has been confirmed by a legitimate source close to Nas. It’s true folks.


AddThis Social Bookmark Button

192 Responses to “The reason why Lost Tapes 2 isn’t coming out”

  1. G7 Says:

    Suaveebolaetc.etc. Says:

    October 7th, 2010 at 9:22 am
    @G7 speaking of taking it back to the 90′s – you reaching the DAS EFX show next week?

    ^oh shit…lol. i almost forgot about that. there’s a good chance i might check it out. i was a big Das fan back in the day (II)

  2. AmpGeez a.k.a. Smoke Greene Says:

    Yo HL, what’s your email?

    I got robbed last year in the Nah fantasy Basketball League. This year, I’m taking the chip.

  3. AmpGeez a.k.a. Smoke Greene Says:

    The reason I said it was funny, was b/c the point of view that most people have on Hip Hop blogs about the business side of Hip Hop is completely inaccurate…
    =====================
    So you being an “insider”, point out the inaccuracies of us ignorant blog folk.

    What is it that we don’t understand exactly?

  4. Jersey*made*me Says:

    You don’t get another Nas recording that doesn’t count against my deal….PERIOD! Keep your bullshit $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 shit coming out! Stop being your own worst enemy. Let’s get money!

    ^^

    #aggressivecontent

  5. G7 Says:

    >>Jay-Z > Nas

    ^even if true, i’m not tryna see Nas put out corny singles like Run this Town or Forever Young. They have been hits, but them joints is real corny.

  6. AmpGeez a.k.a. Smoke Greene Says:

    You don’t get another Nas recording that doesn’t count against my deal….PERIOD!
    =================================
    It’s not an LP of original work. It’s comprised of old songs that he didn’t see fit to release back when they were created or when he put out the first Lost Tapes.

    Nas clearly bumped his head and woke up thinking he was on Duck Down.

  7. G7 Says:

    @ Suaveebolaetc.etc.

    you checkin’ that Das show? how much are tix?

  8. hl Says:

    @Amp

    LattisawTapes@gmail dot com

  9. Charles Oakley Says:

    It’s not an LP of original work. It’s comprised of old songs that he didn’t see fit to release back when they were created or when he put out the first Lost Tapes.
    ^
    I don’t know, the first one seemed to be quite crackish. Also, as far as I know compilation albums (best of albums) typically count towards a deal. And if he is this upset, I am assuming that the first Lost Tapes counted towards his deal as well.

  10. LaneKiffin*CainSniffin*LaneSwitchin* Says:

    #Rangers

  11. unity Says:

    SilkCityP Says:

    October 7th, 2010 at 9:22 am
    It cracks me up to see how people respond from the media…. Like most dudes on Hip Hop blogs actually know the details and in’s and out’s of the business! This is not that big of a deal… The album is coming out 1 way or another… Dude has been standing on his own 2 feet, by himself for almost 20 years… I’m pretty sure he know’s what he is doing… When that dope music drops… Niggas won’t be so concerned with shit they really don’t know anything about
    ^^^^^^CO-SIGN 1000%!

    These dudes on these blogs think they know Nas and his life story…the man has been doing this for 20 years…there is nothing dumb about him. All the haters seem to say is Nas is brok, bringing up his ex ect. Nas shits all over their favorite rappers because he is the only artist that will not take shit and expresses himself. Nas’ A&R already posted on twitter Lost Tapes 2!!! and made his backgroung is the theme of Lost Tapes 1! nas is no punk and unlike tese gossiping ass fans he knows what he is doig!

  12. AmpGeez a.k.a. Smoke Greene Says:

    Plus, Nas had that Stillmatic momentum going into Lost Tapes. He releases the Illmatic Remix EP, The Lost Tapes & God’s Son all in 2002, within a year of Stillmatic.

    Dude was working like he gave a shit again.

  13. SilkCityP Says:

    So you being an “insider”, point out the inaccuracies of us ignorant blog folk.

    What is it that we don’t understand exactly?

    ^^^

    My friend…. there is NO proof this letter even exists! That’s the whole point… A letter gets posted with a link, and you go to source and it doesn’t even exist??… so now since the story is posted on here, everybody is talking up a storm about Nas and how he is fucked up in the game, and in need of money… Do u know the man personally?? Do any of us know him personally??… everything is off the strength of the media, what they say, what they publish…. Media = Lies …. I’m not here to belittle anybody bruh… I’m just saying… the media publishes things, and all of a sudden fans have judgements on these people, and we really don’t know if any of its true

  14. dos equis Says:

    When does it become a record? When it’s recorded or when it’s listened to?

    Niggaz say its old but if you never heard it ain’t it new?

  15. hl Says:

    Charles Oakley Says:

    It’s not an LP of original work. It’s comprised of old songs that he didn’t see fit to release back when they were created or when he put out the first Lost Tapes.

    ^I don’t know, the first one seemed to be quite crackish.

    ^Really doe.

  16. AmpGeez a.k.a. Smoke Greene Says:

    And if he is this upset, I am assuming that the first Lost Tapes counted towards his deal as well.
    ==========================================
    Different label, different time.

    He’s not the same Nas he was in 2001 and neither is the state of Hip-Hop.

  17. dos equis Says:

    My friend…. there is NO proof this letter even exists!

    ^^
    Niggaz be sheep though, bunch of bitches feel they gotta say something, anything as soon as it gets quiet..the silence scares em.

    I just checked the source “via The Lefsetz Letter” I also see no trace of this story that Nation probably copy and pasted from “another” blog.

    niggaz facts be fiction.

  18. d_Block_4_Life Says:

    The reason why Lost Tapes 2 isn’t coming out
    ^
    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

    I have a belly full of white dog crap in me, and now you lay this shit on me?

  19. S.I.C.K.VET Says:

    Nas stans are the worse!!!

    J Elec stans are right up there too!!!

    Chill the fuck out!!Damn!!

    *daps my nigga dos*

  20. AmpGeez a.k.a. Smoke Greene Says:

    Niggaz be sheep though, bunch of bitches feel they gotta say something, anything as soon as it gets quiet..the silence scares em.
    ===========================================
    Not sure what this means, but if you were taking a shot @ me, I’d appreciate it if you said my name.

    And if the letter is fiction, why is it still up?

    Niggas getting tight at the response to a letter instead of questioning the blogger’s decision to post it?

    The fuck?

  21. G7 Says:

    lol @ jorge

  22. AmpGeez a.k.a. Smoke Greene Says:

    Nah’s title…

    The reason why Lost Tapes 2 isn’t coming out

    2DB’s title…

    Is Nas’ Lost Tapes 2 Going to Be Released?

    See the difference?

  23. prophecy_projectz Says:

    # AmpGeez a.k.a. Smoke Greene Says:
    October 7th, 2010 at 9:11 am

    Fuck a hit single, the albums debuted number 1 and sold resonably well (HHID 800k almost plat, Untitled gold). For Nas to do those numbers in a post-2000s era when rappers of his kind struggle, thats nothing short a job well done. And thats why Def Jam was demanding a new studio album from him for this year.
    ========================
    I agree, but lets be real, hype sold those albums more then the actual music. I like both albums for what they are but I know execs are eying BDS and saying Nas needs a real hit.

    Cause what’s he gonna name his next album?

    “I Hate Whitey”?

    That should go Gold easily.
    ________________________________________

    This makes no sense. If those Sold who cares if it was hype or singles? In fact, the execs at Def Jam are probably greatful that the album pushed units without them having to spend money on spins.

    If anything Def Jam is probably greatful he can push gold without a heavy rotation single. Thats probably a reason why they keep Ghostface and the Roots too. They can sell a decent amount without a great deal of money going into the budget.

    The argument is this: Why not invest a little more money and be creative with the promotion? Ultimatley you still need that “Def Jam Push” but only Rhianna is the type of artist who gets a push after she does poor first week sales (Which has happened on 3 of her 5 albums). There is an audience for even people like Nas, Roots, Ghost. You just gotta find ways to get them buy the albums (Sell them on tour? Cause they all tour a lot)

    But anyway, the issue with Nas releasing Lost Tapes 2 has more to do with the fact that Def Jam is gonna reap money on this as a distributor with little invesement in.

    Perhaps they dont quite get the Nas brand. Unlike other rappers, having an album of unreleased material or working with a Primo, Pete Rock actually is profitable for him, because its targeting his audience.

    Sony kind of got that with the first one. They saw the bootlegging of Iam and saw stuff floating online and decided to capitalize on it and the Stillmatic buzz.
    Def Jam should follow suit

    I hear people say “Well why release an album which is just a mixtape”….well arent they doing that with Fab’s TINC 2 as an EP?

    Max your artists revenue but understanding these albums are worth promotion. And as it is they want Nas to release an album before the year finishes as per contract. This qualifies under that (like how some artists release a greatest hits album)

  24. SilkCityP Says:

    *Daps* Dos Equis

  25. Guccistan Says:

    Nas >>>>> Any rapper that has ever LIVED

  26. rEMIXZNFLOW Says:

    Niggaz be sheep though, bunch of bitches feel they gotta say something, anything as soon as it gets quiet..the silence scares em.
    ===========================================
    Not sure what this means, but if you were taking a shot @ me, I’d appreciate it if you said my name.

    ^
    checkmate….

    smh…

    *daps jerz for the strategy*

  27. rEMIXZNFLOW Says:

    # Guccistan Says:
    October 7th, 2010 at 10:00 am

    Nas >>>>> Any rapper that has ever LIVED

    ^
    this is unintentional comedy… unless you meant to do that… if so well played.

  28. AmpGeez a.k.a. Smoke Greene Says:

    And as it is they want Nas to release an album before the year finishes as per contract. This qualifies under that (like how some artists release a greatest hits album)
    ===================================
    That’s like me signing an agreement with you to deliver me a new Lexus and you bring me one…from 94.

    That’s not the agreement cause old music isn’t as relevant as it is dated & that might make it harder to sell it to the public.

    Def Jam wants a new Nas album like every one else.

  29. AmpGeez a.k.a. Smoke Greene Says:

    In fact, the execs at Def Jam are probably relieved that the album pushed units without them having to spend money on spins.*

    Fixed*

  30. Hombre Negro Says:

    I appreciate NaS

    Nation is biased when it comes to NaS because he wants to be just like a NaS but can’t understand how to be like a NaS

  31. fli-die Says:

    Imma Esco Fan always have been, always will be. But yo baby mama problems, tax problems and now label problems! He once said he wanted to be the B.B. King of hip hop (longevitiy) but he is turning more into Chuck Berry (do your homework).

    Micheal Jackson & Prince BOTH tried this same tactic NEVER to return to their prominence.

    Now while I DO agree that labels totally take advantage of artist. But this is where all those years off a lazy work ethic, bad beat selection and basically just doing what he felt is going to come back and bite Nas. He has no leverage. C’mon he’s not Jay! Or even Kanye for that matter. He is a LEGEND yes. But only in critical acclaim. After Stillmatic commercially…..ehhhh.

    I agree he shouldn’t aloow himself to get f*cked. But everybody knows that the next REAL Nas album has ALOT riding on it. His legacy lays in the balance. Illmatic is and will ALWAYS be an all time classic (which he does not own the masters to) but that was damn near 17 years ago! And in this what have you done for me lately business….nobody cares.

    Imagine if Hov just rested on HIS laurels after RD? Smarten up, Nas. The game needs you…..

  32. QUEENZ Says:

    @AmpGeez a.k.a. Smoke Greene

    That is the smartest comment I think I ever read on this site. The difference is soooooo clear. Bunch of fucking Nas haters and they don’t even try to mask it anymore. I don’t get it.

  33. prophecy_projectz Says:

    # AmpGeez a.k.a. Smoke Greene Says:
    October 7th, 2010 at 10:04 am

    And as it is they want Nas to release an album before the year finishes as per contract. This qualifies under that (like how some artists release a greatest hits album)
    ===================================
    That’s like me signing an agreement with you to deliver me a new Lexus and you bring me one…from 94.

    That’s not the agreement cause old music isn’t as relevant as it is dated & that might make it harder to sell it to the public.

    Def Jam wants a new Nas album like every one else.
    ———————————————————————————-

    Execs dont give a shit how old the music when it was recorded, as long as it counts as something new in retail stores for the artists, they’ll put it out. Thats why you have people who release Greatest Hits albums that are filled with stuff the audiences have heard before. Thats why you have B-Sides, mixtapes being released as EPs and dead artists like 2pac still dropping recycled material on major labels.
    By your logic you’re telling me none of these things have been released by major labels before because they wont accept them as new material. They dont care how old the music, as long as its something new to put in the stores they are with it.

    What Nas is trying to say to the execs is simple: Its worth promoting a Lost Tapes 2 album beyond it just being a compilation.

    Hip-Hop fans understand the value of it and anticipate like its an actual new album (We gonna hear stuff too like the new Pete Rock track Nas did last year). Of course he wants to be properly compensated for putting material even to the point of risking more money on it (Which he can make back on touring).

    Really I think its worth Def Jam promoting both this album and then the actual studio album as a one-two punch for 2010-2011 (similar to how Sony handled Nas in 2002 with Stillmatic-Lost Tapes-God Son). It shouldnt be out of their element as they used to double promote albums all the time in the late 90s-early 2000s with this.

  34. Brooklyn Strong Says:

    Nas is feeling the pressure of those Child Support payments. This could turn out good. Having your back on the wall can bring out the best of some people.

  35. prophecy_projectz Says:

    # fli-die Says:
    October 7th, 2010 at 10:13 am

    Imma Esco Fan always have been, always will be. But yo baby mama problems, tax problems and now label problems! He once said he wanted to be the B.B. King of hip hop (longevitiy) but he is turning more into Chuck Berry (do your homework).

    Micheal Jackson & Prince BOTH tried this same tactic NEVER to return to their prominence.

    Now while I DO agree that labels totally take advantage of artist. But this is where all those years off a lazy work ethic, bad beat selection and basically just doing what he felt is going to come back and bite Nas. He has no leverage. C’mon he’s not Jay! Or even Kanye for that matter. He is a LEGEND yes. But only in critical acclaim. After Stillmatic commercially…..ehhhh.

    I agree he shouldn’t aloow himself to get f*cked. But everybody knows that the next REAL Nas album has ALOT riding on it. His legacy lays in the balance. Illmatic is and will ALWAYS be an all time classic (which he does not own the masters to) but that was damn near 17 years ago! And in this what have you done for me lately business….nobody cares.

    Imagine if Hov just rested on HIS laurels after RD? Smarten up, Nas. The game needs you…..
    __________________________________________________________

    I think his problems are a little over-exaggerated . We see what we hear on the net and on the surface but I dont think they are nearly as bad as some make them out to be.

    I mean the dude is about to headline Wembley Arena with Damian Marley on March 31st in London. Only Jay-Z, Eminem, 50 Cent and Kanye do 20,000 seat spots in Europe.

    As far as his work ethic goes, consider this: The man has been touring like a mainiac since 2007 (Rock the Bells headline act 3 straight years, indvidual album tours, festivals, Europe, Australia, Toured with Kanye overseas, Did Asia for the first time in 07-08, touring with Damian from 2009-2011) and he still known for having one of the biggest released and unreleased catalouges next to Pac.
    So I dont think he’s lazy at all.

    Now if you wanna talk about whether or not he’s smart at picking the right songs for his album the last couple of go arounds. Yeah I can content thats an issue (How do you leave Talk of NY, Colours, Scientist, What it is, Association off your album?)

    But this perception that he’s a failure because he’s not Kanye, Diddy, 50 or Jigga I think is a little unfair.

    Ultimatley he hasnt crashed and burned like Rule, DMX (or how Weezy and TI are if they keep fucking around with the law) or gone completley AWOL like Cam did or released nothing for years like Juelz Santana (Who HAD to drop mixtape cuts) or Rakim or Redman or Meth.

    If you rank him among other Hip-Hop artists, dudes had a pretty damn good career. I just think we over-exaggerate it cause “Nas Lost” is a meme and Jay-Z has rightfully dictated Hip-Hop culture, so we measure everyone against him. And even that dude is a Nas Stan…

  36. GC aka Chalky White Says:

    Why does Nas need the label? Someone remind me.

  37. fli-die Says:

    But this perception that he’s a failure because he’s not Kanye, Diddy, 50 or Jigga I think is a little unfair.

    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
    I don’t think he’s a failure by any means. The fact that he’s still here and is relevant proves that. Think: to most kids KRS & Rakim are like Melle Mel & Moe Dee to us! But niggas like Wock STILL revere Nas.

    But I KNOW that he does not have the leverage or catalog value as ANY of the artist mentioned above to be playing hard ball with the likes of the people he mentioned in HIS letter. I mean it plays great with the streets, but he’s playing a corporate game.

    And as a fan I would hate to see him get the treatment of artist that Def Jam already take for granted : Ghost, Meth, Red, The Roots etc. His legacy deserves better. And as fans so do we.

  38. neville Says:

    i thought jay-z brought nas to def jam?? he should reach out to jay now. that’s why having a business standpoint like jay is important in this game. nas should have been a business man. ask jay, it all pays out at the end.. i still cant believe nas, powerul as he is, going back n forth with execs to put his shit out. fuckin ridiculous (rza voice)

  39. Stupid fucs Says:

    AYOOO FUCK DEF JAM !!!! FUCK THE ENTIRE RECORDING INDUSTRY!!! ALOT OF YOU YOUNG FUCS CAN’T RELATE TO NAS MUSIC BCUZ YALL ALL WASHED UP LIKE THE REST OF THE HERD AND THE MASSES!! DUM FUCS !! DO YA EVEN UNDERSTAND WHAT THE MESSAGES THESE ONE HIT WONDERS ARE DOING TO THE YOUTH?? IF YOU GUYS UNDERSTOOD HOW ENERGY AND MASS MANIPULATION WORKS IT WOULD BE MORE OBVIOUS! LISTENING TO ALL THIS NEGATIVE SHYT LOWERS YOUR CHAKRAS OR WHAT YOU WOULD CALL ENERGY CENTERS AND FUCS WITH YOUR AURIC FIELD WHICH IS AROUND YOUR PHYSICAL BODY..(NON PHYSICAL ENERGY)!!! THIS IS ALL ABOUT BALANCE MAN!! WAKE UP DUM FUCS!!! DO YOUR RESEARCH IF YOU’RE LOOKING FOR THE TRUTH!!!

    L.A FRIED IS CONTROLLED BY HIGHER FORCES!! HES JUST A SELL OUT LIKE THE REST OF THE INDUSTRY INCLUDING MOST ARTISTS…SO YEAH GET OFF THE SMARTEN UP BANDWAGON!!

  40. Guccistan Says:

    Nas is an artist above all, so fuck that exec shit jigga be talking cos wen it’s all said and done it’s. Nas >>>>>>>>>>> Any artist ever to pic up a microphone

  41. Nah Right » Shyne wants off of Def Jam Says:

    […] singer, you “might” have a chance. They don’t care. You got The Roots, Ghostface, Nas, probably the best hip-hop roster you could imagine and they do nothing. L.A. Reid doesn’t […]

  42. Nah Right » Big Sean on Nas/Shyne’s feelings about Def Jam Says:

    […] these fucking hit songs so no, I don’t think L.A. Reid understands hip-hop in the same way that Nas understands it or Shyne or whoever or Kanye. He understands that muthafuckin money, he understands […]

Leave a Reply