So Nas has beef with Def Jam. I truely sympathize with the grief and pain that my brother is experiencing. You can feel it in every word spoken in his letter written to their top execs (I’ve listed it below). Basically Def Jam is willing to put out his “Lost Tapes” projects, reap the benefits from it, but not count it toward his album commitment. Hmmmmm….. label gives you money ….. label tells you what to do….. hmmmmm… I’m thinking.
To: LA Reid, Steve Bartels, Steve Gawley, Michael Seltzer, Joseph Borrino, Chris Hicks
Subject: PUT MY SHIT OUT!
Peace to all,
With all do respect to you all, Nas is NOBODY’s slave. This is not the 1800′s, respect me and I will respect you.
I won’t even tap dance around in an email, I will get right into it. 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. Yet time and time again its the executives who always stand in the way of a creative artist’s dream and aspirations. You don’t help draw the truth from my deepest and most inner soul, you don’t even do a great job @ selling it. The #1 problem with DEF JAM is pretty simple and obvious, the executives think they are the stars. You aren’t…. not even close. As a matter of fact, you wish you were, but it didn’t work out so you took a desk job. To the consumer, I COME FIRST. Stop trying to deprive them! I have a fan base that dies for my music and a RAP label that doesn’t understand RAP. Pretty fucked up situation
This isn’t the 90′s though. Beefing with record labels is so 15 years ago. @ 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. I did business with Tommy Mottola and Donnie Einer, two of the most psycho dudes this business ever created. I worked well with them for one major reason……. they believed in me. The didn’t give a fuck about what any radio station or magazine said….those dudes had me.
Lost Tapes is a movement and a very important set up piece for my career as it stands. I started this over 5 years ago @ Columbia and nobody knew what it was or what it did but the label put it out as an LP and the fans went crazy for it and I single handlely built a new brand of rap albums. It’s smart and after 5 years it’s still a head of the game. This feels great and you not feeling what I’m feeling is disturbing. Don’t get in the way of my creativity. We are aligned with the stars here, this is a movement. There is a thing called KARMA that comes to haunt you when you tamper with the aligning stars. WE ARE GIVING THE PEOPLE EXACTLY WHAT THEY WANT. Stop throwing dog shit on a MAGICAL moment.
You don’t get another Nas recording that doesn’t count against my deal….PERIOD! Keep your bullshit $200,000.00 fund. Open the REAL budget. This is a New York pioneers ALBUM, there ain’t many of us. I am ready to drop in the 4th quarter. You don’t even have shit coming out! Stop being your own worst enemy. Let’s get money!
Next thing I know, Lupe is feeling a way about the way Atlantic is treating him. It was a real shocker to me that the label would insult an artist of his stature by proposing a 360 deal (see the video below), but i was picking myself up off the floor after hearing that Atlantic, his very own label, called him, Lupe Fiasco,… WHACK!! Oh really?
I remember the first day I met Lupe when he came to the studio while we were creating “Late Registration”, I’ll admit that I had no idea who the cat was. It was actually two or three days before he came in to lay his verse for “Touch The Sky”. I remember him playing about six joints, loud through the ‘big speakers’ and thinking this dude is a breath of ‘fresh’ air. He had everything; wit, dope concepts, he was conscious without being preachy, funny, a word smith, intellectual but hood; he was flat out entertaining. By the way, he played “Kick Push” that day. There is no possible way that Atlantic could be referring to the person that I saw on THAT day as WHACK. Hmmmm … i’m thinking again ….. What qualifies some of these people to be label execs? Hmmmmm.
Meanwhile, Ceelo has offered a statement saying that his most recent hit single “Fuck You” is aimed at the music industry and that he was referring to “it’ (the industry) as “she” in the song. Hmmmmmm…..
Listen to what Lupe is saying in the video ….. “I’m done fighting, I’m just gonna Martin Luther King this one and turn the other cheek…” Here we have a situation where the recording industry has all but raped Lupe of his spirit. This man is a true warrior. I’ve walked with him through a mall in Dubai and watched the man purchase a Samarai sword, true story. All I can think about is the echoing line in Spike Lee’s “School Days”… WAAAAKE UUUUP!! I’ve seen this industry, time and time again, take some of the most creative and innovative super artist in the game and reduce them to mere … uuhhhh … musical mortals. How could they deprive YOU, the consumer of experiencing what I experienced on that day back in 05′, that day I experienced “Lupe The Truth” as if to say, ” YOU CAN’T H A N D L E THE T R U T H !!! Dumb it down Lu….
Hmmmm…. I’m thinking again…..
Let me call up Joon Bug from Fresh Kaufee and start to work up a Logo for a new label. MY OWN LABEL.
Yes, friends, family and fans, I have parted relations with my former crew. There comes a time in every, okay, some artist’s career where they’re forced to take control of the reins. What I’m saying is I’m the kind of artist that should be a PRIORITY SOMEWHERE. If you ain’t worthy of priority status in someone elses eyes, you damn sho’ better be in your own, thus, Uncle Pete’s Parade (U.P.P. aka UPP Music) is birthed.
If you downloaded a copy of “The World Famous Tony Williams: FINDING DAKOTA GREY” mixtape I would think (or at least hope) that you would concur that I am committed to EXCELLENCE. I am committed to not compromising my art for the sake of commercial success. I am committed to releasing quality well crafted music that is pure, uncut and undiluted. I am committed to not creating music that insults your musical intellect … and, oh yeah, I promise that when this rant is done that I will never make a ‘dis’ record about any one person or entity I feel may have wronged me or not supported my vision. Besides, I never undertood dis records. How could your personal beef with another artist be entertaining to a third party (the consumer). Artist can be so self absorbed these days, GEEEZ! It’s about the music with me and the preservation of real music. I, also, do it for YOU! You deserve it. So to all my fans that have supported me along my way, I present to you my first commercial single… “EVERYTHING ABOUT YOU”.
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