By Maurice Bobb
To the fans who have been waiting since 2010 for Nas to release The Lost Tapes: Vol. 2, your patience is finally being rewarded.
That’s right, four years after revealing exclusively on MTV News that LT2 would be available in December of 2010, Esco’s new independent label, Mass Appeal Records, announced Friday (May 16) that it will release the LP.
The Lost Tapes (2002) featured tracks left on the cutting-room floor over the years while Nas was recording proper albums like I Am…, Nastradamus and Stillmatic. In a word, the classic compilation was a collection of street bangers, songs not exactly meant for the radio. LT2 will be more of the same.
“I’m unloading records I want the streets to hear,” the Queens rapper said back in 2010. “Cleaning out my hard drives. 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.”
When LT2 didn’t hit shelves as planned, Nas penned a scathing email to Def Jam about skimping on the funds needed, challenging them to “Open the REAL budget” for the project, but it never saw the light of day. Now that he’s running the show, fans will finally get classic, Nasty Nas material.
In addition to dropping LT2, Mass Appeal Records will release the first of an annual compilation series that will feature artists like Future, Pusha T, Mac Miller, A$AP Mob and Nas, who will cover Gang Starr’s single, “Mass Appeal,” from their seminal fourth album, Hard To Earn.
The imprint will also release a posthumous Pimp C album that will be produced by hip-hop’s “it” producers Juicy J, Mike Will Made It and DJ Mustard.
“I’m excited to be a part of creating and supporting future careers and legacy artists, promoting love and finding new genius to help the world,” Nas said in an email about championing artists like recently signed Boldy James, Bishop Nehru and Fashawn. “I’m going to be as involved as I need to be, but I also want to be respectful of the art and give artists the space they need to grow and become themselves.”