Nas Reveals Controversial Title Of New LP At NYC Gig

Album's name will pose challenges for retailers, media.

NEW YORK — The N-word it is.

On Friday night at New York’s Roseland Ballroom, Nas announced the title of his next album: He said it will be called Nigga and released in December. A source close to the project confirmed the name on Saturday.

Nas has said he’d planned to use that title for his last LP before he changed it to Hip-Hop Is Dead. If the December date holds firm, Nas will have a very busy winter. On November 6 he’s releasing his Greatest Hits LP. A video for one of the two new songs on the project, “Surviving the Times,” will be shot soon. Last week, super producer Jermaine Dupri — who has already completed tracks for Jay-Z’s American Gangster — told MTV News he would love to be involved in Nas’ upcoming new LP.

Nas headlined the last stop of the Sneaker Pimps Tour on Friday, where newcomers such as Mista Mal as well as legends EPMD and Slick Rick had sets. Even Jeru Da Damaja showed up and rocked the mic.

Nas kept fans antsy by not going on until well after 1 a.m., but they left visibly — and audibly — pleased.

He opened with “Hip-Hop Is Dead,” then went into his catalog for records such as “One Love” and “Hate Me Now.” God’s Son ended with “Made You Look,” during which he surprised the fans by jumping into the crowd. Once among the people, he began jumping up and down and inciting the people to jump with him. One of Nas’ security guards dove into the audience after him, pulling him back to the stage, where he stood none the worse for wear.

“He touched my hand and gave me positive energy,” one woman said as the house lights came on.

Besides phat rhymes, spectators saw some of the most exclusive kicks you can hope to get, as sneakers from all over the world were displayed. There was also a pit for professional skaters who sailed up and down ramps. Still, most of the skaters had to put their boards down when the acts came on, especially Nas.