Ras Kass is accusing heavyweight hip-hop producer the Alchemist of selling
the same beat twice.
The California rapper said he paid the beatsmith for the music used on his "Home Sweet Home" song, which was scheduled to appear on Ras' forthcoming Van Gogh album and has also been featured on mix tapes from New York's DJ Kay Slay and Cornerstone Promotions.
But the Alchemist also offered the track to Ruff Ryders, who secured the
same instrumentation for Jadakiss. The MC raps over the beat on "We Gon' Make
It," a song which is slated to appear on his Kiss the Game
Goodbye album, due June 12, and has already garnered airplay on New
York radio station Hot 97.
Ras said he and his lawyers were in negotiations with lawyers from Ruff
Ryders two weeks ago, trying to make sure that the same beat he paid for
wasn't used by another artist.
"I paid [the Alchemist] for the track and picked the track," said Ras Kass,
who has not heard the Jadakiss song. "I don't know what the circumstances
were, but he ends up trying to sell it to Ruff Ryders and Jadakiss
specifically and tries to play like he didn't do it."
Calls made to Interscope Records, which handles Jadakiss and Ruff Ryders,
were not returned by press time. Attempts to contact the Alchemist, who has
produced for Mobb Deep and others, were also unsuccessful.
"Dude cashed the check and now he's playing stupid," Ras Kass said. "After we try to resolve the situation, they take it to [New York
radio station] Hot 97 and try to blast off on the sh-- and give it to [radio
personality and mix tape king] DJ Clue. That's some foul sh--. Alchemist
needs to step up and be a man. For him to sell them the same beat, that's
his wrong. At the same time, I don't know what the conversation was for
them [Jadakiss' people] to go and take it to Hot 97 when we've been trying
to deal with this for the past two weeks with our lawyers."
Ironically, Van Gogh, due in stores in August, was to feature a song with
Sheek, who, like Jadakiss, is a member of the LOX. The follow-up to 1998's Rasassination also includes "TV Guide," a socio-political epic, and tracks produced by Battlecat (Tha Eastsidaz), Rockwilder (Method Man & Redman) and Mike City (Carl Thomas). Ras Kass said the album's first single will feature Xzibit on the chorus and production courtesy of Dr. Dre.
Named after the famous Dutch painter, the collection is said to outline
Ras' musical mission.
"Van Gogh was known for dying poor and after his death he was critically
acclaimed," Ras said. "He was also known for cutting off his ear and
mailing it [to someone]. Symbolically, I'm cutting off my ear and mailing
it to the world. The album is my experience in the Hot Game [the cutthroat
rap business] and looking at my position in it."
After Van Gogh arrives in record stores, Ras Kass will be completing work
on the Golden State Project, a super group that also includes Xzibit and
Saafir (see "Xzibit Launching Record Label, Recording With Side Project"). Ras said the group's debut album will be released in the first
quarter of 2002.
Ras Kass is also a member of the 4 Hrsmn (4 Horsemen), a group with Kurupt,
Killah Priest, and Canibus. They, too, are working on an album.
Don't expect the Alchemist to produce any songs on either the Golden State
Project or the 4 Hrsmn's collection.
"I definitely wouldn't want to work with the cat," Ras said.