Ras Kass Blasts Beat Alchemy

Rapper claims producer the Alchemist sold Jadakiss and him the same track.

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.