Last month, [artist id="1000"]Nas[/artist] announced via Twitter that Lost Tapes: Vol. 2, the sequel to his 2002 compilation of material that never made the cut, was on the way. But since then, it looks like his relationship with label Def Jam may have soured. The album’s current release status is unknown, and a letter written by Nas and obtained by blog The Lefsetz Letter on Thursday (October 7) accuses label execs of not allotting the project a proper budget and not respecting the Lost Tapes movement.
MTV News spoke with an unnamed source from Nas’ camp who confirmed the letter’s authenticity. “It was a personal e-mail,” the source said. “[The leak] wasn’t planned. It was not meant to be blasted out in the world, but we’re not upset about it.”
In the letter, with the subject line “Put My Sh– Out,” Nas says that he is “nobody’s slave” and asks for the label’s respect.
“I won’t even tap dance around in an email, I will get right into it,” he wrote. “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.”
Nas says that the number one problem at Def Jam is the executives who try to make themselves the stars, even though to the consumer, he comes first.
“This isn’t the ’90s, though. Beefing with record labels is so 15 years ago,” the letter reads. “@ 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.”
He goes on to say that Lost Tapes is a “movement” and a very important set-up piece as far as his career stands, but Def Jam is stifling his creativity and not giving his fans what they want.
“You don’t get another Nas recording that doesn’t count against my deal … PERIOD!” he wrote. “Keep your bullsh– $200,000 fund. Open the REAL budget. This is a New York pioneer’s ALBUM, there ain’t many of us. I am ready to drop in the 4th quarter. You don’t even have sh– coming out! Stop being your own worst enemy. Let’s get money!”
In an exclusive interview last month with MTV News, Nas revealed that he hoped to unload more records he wanted the streets to hear, before he dropped his next solo album in Summer 2011.
“Cleaning out my hard drives,” he said at the time. “Gonna do this, then start fresh. I’m dropping my solo LP before the summer of 2011. I love the energy the world has been giving me over the last two years. But now it’s time to focus on owning the streets again.”