The reason why Lost Tapes 2 isn’t coming out

Thursday, October 7th, 2010

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.