With the recent release of Illmatic XX, Wednesday's premiere of his "Time Is Illmatic" documentary, and the impending 20-year anniversary of his debut album, Nas has been celebrating the past a lot of late. But now, he's looking to the future.
On Thursday (April 17) it was announced God's Son had signed Detroit rapper Boldy James to the recently launched Mass Appeal label, according to Fake Shore Drive.
Last year, Nas invested in Mass Appeal, where he became Associate Publisher of the magazine. "I always liked what they represented," he told Forbes in April 2013. "They invested into the culture ... I saw their vision for what they planned and I thought I could add value across the board."
In January, Nas tweeted about the rapper:
B O L DY J A M E S. #DetriotStandUp— Nasir Jones (@Nas) January 14, 2014
Then, last month in Texas, the Queens native brought Boldy out at the SXSW Mass Appeal showcase. Rumors were floating that he was aligning himself with James in some fashion, but that only became official on Thursday.
James released his debut album, My 1st Chemistry Set, produced entirely by the Alchemist, in October. He has also had a relationship with MC Serch, who helped Nas secure his first recording contract, in the early 1990s, at Columbia.
"Mass Appeal has a legacy and respect," Nas told Forbes. "It already has a foundation ... I just feel like I can add on because I can lend my kind of cultural expertise and my professional acumen, and develop the business."