Nas Pens Letter To Def Jam To Release "Lost Tapes Vol. 2"

UPDATE: MTV News has learned that the letter is real, according to sources close to Nas.

A writer representing himself as Nas has apparently sent an email to Def Jam blasting them to release his Lost Tapes Vol. 2. The recipients are Island Def Jam Chairman and CEO LA Reid and a handful of other executives. The intercepted email comes via Call us skeptical, but we have our doubts that this is legitimate. Nas has stated many times, even recently, that he never uses a computer. Check out the email below, and decide for yourself.

From: Nas

To: LA Reid, Steve Bartels, Steve Gawley, Michael Seltzer, Joseph Borrino, Chris Hicks

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!


UPDATE: Shortly after noon today, MTV News spoke with an anonymous representative from Nas' camp that believed the letter to be real. "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," said the person.

Read the full story at MTV News here.





  • Soliddo Nazo

    The thing he is really mad about is the fact that Def Jam wants to release it but they will only give him a 200, 000 dollar budget AND that they(Def Jam) does not want it to count towards his album count which is currently at 3. I guess the reason why Nas wants to count this towards his album count is to 1)Leave and 2)The contract did not specify whether or not if recordings made prior to the signing of the contract will count toward his record deal.

  • Nazir

    Hip hop is dead and Untitled both landed on the charts #1 and both have gone gold. Distant Relatives was #5 so its not like nas doesnt sell,he sells records but just not as big as the likes of jay,eminem, kanye west. Def Jam better drop Lost tapes 2.On another note did nas not sign a 4 cd deal with def jam in 05, if so hes already released 3 albums with them so isnt this next album gonna be his last on this label ?

    • Godschild

      Well why do you think Nas don't sell like these other jokers? Look at the substance of Nas' music the lyrical content, the edutainment of his music. Nas teaches you about your culture and history. Jay teaches you what? Pop gold bottles. Eminem teaches you what? Worship Lucifer. These guys get all the airplay cos the powers that be suppose it that way. Nas is Hip Hop. Everyone whitewashes their minds from the fact that Jay should not have half the the respect he has, need I remind you Nas absolutely DESTROYED him. Completely. 'Ether' will always be a Hip Hop classic Name me a non-commercialized, non-pop classic Jay has ever released? These rappers that are recieving their huge advances, are constantly all over our radios and TV stations and own clubs and basketball teams....all know how to suck a good d##k or take it from behind in the corporate suite or a masonic lodge. Nas knows what it is and continues to represent THE MUSIC and THE PEOPLE. NOT the money.

    • Soliddo Nazo

      From the NY Times: "As part of the deal, Nas's longtime record company, Sony Music, and Def Jam will split the profits - or any loss - from his next two albums, the sources said. Def Jam is expected to lay out the cost of producing and marketing the recordings, and to divide the profits after recovering its expenses. The two music companies will jointly plan and oversee the albums' marketing campaigns. The agreement pays Nas about $3 million, including a recording budget, for each of the first two albums, and provides for two additional albums with Def Jam, the sources said. Sony also retains the right to release a Nas greatest hits album, they added (" In other words...yes and finally. I did not want him to sign with Def Jam in the first place.

  • SutterKane

    Sorry Nas but Def Jam is a buisness, aint like "Untitled" or "Distant Relatives" tore the charts up, what you expect them to open up a rhianna type budget for your unreleased "Lost Tapes" album, that only your hardcore fanbase is gonna buy anyway?? Here's a lil fun fact for ya'll, when companies spend money promoting, manufacturing and marketing albums, those companies lose money and people lose jobs If you dont like the way the game is played go Indy and lower your expectations, I love Nas's music but in a buisness sense, the guy's best selling album went triple platinum, and that was back in 99 when Everybody was sellin records, the last platinum album Nas made was in 2002 (I think) with God's Son........ It is what it is

    • WEKetchum

      I feel you. But they signed Shyne for a mil, and he hasn't even proven himself from a financial standpoint at all. Just sayin'.

    • Proph

      Bump that man. Regardless if it's a business or not do people honestly care about the people promoting and trying to earn a living at Def Jam? Probably not. I'm sure most people are cognizant that the music industry is a business, but people losing jobs isn't a direct result of marketing and promotion. Those marketing elements are necessary. Whether it goes plat or not, the demand for it is definitely there.

  • Anonymous

    im confused is nas saying they dont allow the records to be put out, or is he saying that the 200.000 marketing isnt enough promo for him ? because if its the first im 100% with nas no doubt but if its the 2nd i really dont care about this

    • Soliddo Nazo

      Sorta kinda both. They(Def Jam) want to put it out but if it counts toward his record deal they will not put it out. And he(Nas) thinks the fact that Def Jam will only commit 200k to the project is well...bullsh**.

  • Wiley

    Lost tapes is one of my favorites from nas...Im ready for vol. 2

  • MPistol

    child support payments are a motherfucker

  • Nico 3

    I think anytime a major label fucks with you is because they know they can't recoup their investment anymore. While that may seem shady considering Nas's track record, that's just the way it is. Don't sign deals that can jam you up.

  • shone jones

    So what? Columbia still has the masters and is trying to found more ways to milk him since he already submitted himself to Def Jam. I said back in the day that this was the WORST RECORD DEAL in the history of all record deals. Two labels are eating off of him, and his advances were recoupable. So he's in debt. He hated Donny Ienner at Columbia and he hates LA Reid even more for making a fool out of him. Hip Hop isn't dead...Nas' business skills on the other hand.........

    • Nazir

      I thought nas and LA Reid were cool cos was it not La Reid who brought nas to def jam and convinced him to squash his beef with jay z ? Plus what makes you think hes in debt ?

  • Soliddo Nazo

    So what are you guys getting at?...Well I should say "What are you guys trying to get at?"


    Which one of these songs should I put on Lost Tapes?

  • Anonymous

    well damn

  • xzorrow

    The streets need another lost tapes..some of us want that intelligent wise words being spoken hip hop, not that shit you ripping the kids off with. Remember the word "classic".. BRING OUT LOST TAPES NOW!!!

  • Anonymous

    most likely just some disgruntled fan taking matters into his own hands.

  • Anonymous

    This soooooo isn't nas. Any real nas fan knows this is not his style AT ALL. lol.

  • gaetarick

    Nas is the realest ...

  • mrconceited


  • turningill



      That's a funny joke, it really is. Do you spend your entire day on the net trying to piss people off? Is your life that pathetic? Nas the original article, one of the last niggas' still doin' it, legendary.

    • Fuckoffbitch

      Nas wackest rapper alive keep the tape. I would rather sit in solitary confinement then listen to that piece of shit Nas crap. good job def jam keep that overrated garbage from coming out

  • true hip-hop fanatic

    i doubt this is the real nas but i dont doubt that this is his sentiment towards his label cuz nowadays the fuckin politics tend to overshadow the overall purpose of what rap is supposed to be about. the goddamn labels think that the consumer is a slave, not just the artist. they might as well have rappers pickin cotton out on a field. fuck that. fuck the industry. i wouldnt be surprised of they refuse to release nas' album cuz he aint complacent to frivolity that runs abundant in this game. nas is one of the FEW niggaz out there with the conviction to stay true to himself and the art of conveyin melodics for the streets. the labels only want simplicity cuz that's what stuffs their pockets. fuck that. keep ya head up nas.

  • HipHop

    Subject: PUT MY SHIT OUT! LMAO!!! Illmatic will never be topped, Nas the GOAT!

  • Anonymous

    shout out to nas real EMCEE!! Check out my new webshow! its full of girls with fatt asses from the neighborhood and jackass stunts and sketches!!!

  • Anonymous

    im confused is nas saying they dont allow the records to be put out, or is he saying that the 200.000 marketing isnt enough promo for him ? because if its the first im 100% with nas no doubt but if its the 2nd i really dont care about this

  • Bryant Oden

    I posted this on earlier. This is how I feel. I remember Lyor Cohen saying a couple of years ago that WMG will only do "360 deals" with artist. Personally Lyor is cool. I know that he has a job to do and that is work for his investors at the top and he personally has to answer to Edgar Bronfman Jr. So with that...Lyor do your job. On the flip side I feel artists shouldn't put themselves in a position like that. The music business is really about sweat equity. You get out the game what you put in. If all artist decide to go at it independent all the way in and just sweat it out. They'll have a more fulfilled feeling. Regardless of how much money you make. Money does not make you happy. Doing what you love to do makes you happy. And I could hear in Lupe's voice his pain...Lupe is not happy. Lupe is doing really great financially but he's not happy. Why? Because he's not being able to do want he really wants to do...And that is connect his music on his terms to the fans who truly love his music. We have got to overcome this slave mentality that major record labels are the answer to our problems. You see I work with record labels not for them. I'm my own boss. I can get on here and say f**k Lyor Cohen and not give a f**k. They have no real support for black music over there at all. I can say that and still be in the music industry. You know why because I put out music regardless. And it sells. But I'm not the artist. I'm not the star. I'm the supporter, I'm the fan. I do what I love and the universe pays me back for it. I connect with artist and producers, not record labels. People and music are my love. You know we as black people should stop going to majors for record deals and just put out music out online digitally. Why not. I'd rather sign myself than to sign to someone else...Wouldn't you? And case your are questioning yourself how can you afford to release your music online. Digital distribution is cost effective because there is relatively no overheard. Think about this. Wayne just did 100 thousand plus all digital from his album "I'm Not A Human Being" Cutting out the Universal Music Group Distribution machine is genius. They charge Cash money for pressing, retail placement in store, breakage and defective CD's. They deduct that from the sales. Before Cash money gets the check. Not to mention there cut from the overall profits. f**k that. Wayne was smart enough to say let's put this out straight digital. All these white kids got Apple I -phones downloading this at work, school, at the mall, everywhere. Wayne is in jail making more money than any artist who is out free on the street droppiing physical albums. Anyone can put out a digital album. you don't have to wait to get signed to do that. Now realistically you are not going sell like Wayne. But the idea is the same. The Concept is the same. And you can own your masters, put out the music you want, when you want. Declare your independence artists. Holla at me ya'll I can put you on!! Bryant K. Oden A&R Consultant/Artist Manager

    • Fistoffury

      'All these white kids got apple i-phones' hmm i'm white an i aint got no fuckin i-phone or none of that shit!! u know why? cos i can't fuckin afford that stuff. I swear man some blacks act like limitations only ever apply to them. I aint got much money but u don't see me moaning about it. not all whites have everything handed to them u know. Sick of this shit. I'm from UK btw. where shit is a bit different

  • audio tech

    "Def Jam done lost they soul" (c)Redman

  • mrconceited


  • DJ Nemesis

    it seemed legitimate till he said "beefin wit labels is so 15 years ago" lmao like a lil white girl...come onnnnn

  • Nastynas4life

    Fuck You Def Jams!!

  • ahktane

    HUGE NAS FAN!!! Nah this aint Nas and if it is, cool. This is hype. Not how Nas does it. But probably something Def Jam created I bet to get a buzz going. But lets hear this Lost Tapes 2 anyways. Im ready.

  • Anonymous

    Fuck Def Jam! Bring back the Def jam from the 80's. You money hungry bitches



  • Toppdogg908

    Record company people are shady

  • GD

    some of the realest shit, and i work for the label. smh. Def Jam is full of shit. just like every other record company. BULLSHIT! a bunch of selfish old people that no nothing about the music created today. If you ask why music is garbage. this old fucks taking up space is the reason. Music is in Desperate need of new young faces in the executive positions.

  • Anonymous

    I feel you ^Don^ Nasir. You the stronges in this rap shit. All respeckt to you. I do take my hat of for you!

  • Loch Last Flip

    Ether way this letter is real shit.The ? is did Nas really write this?I'm sure he agrees.These execs don't know shit

  • m.i.c

    JUST RELEASE THA FUCKING TAPE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Its Um

    Well even if it's true or not it's a very good letter.

  • Charles ExSavior

    Personally this is a hoax. Nas is normally not afraid to speak his mind so why resort to an email? And let's say Nas uses email... I find it very hard to believe that one couldn't match this email with the one Nas has been using all along. Too many hackers in this world to leave this as some kind of mystery.

    • Simon

      Nas to afraid to speak his mind? after he said he was a columbia record slave while signed to columbia? after saying hip-hop was dead? after almost calling an album ni**er? GTFOH!

  • Who who

    White power runs Def Jam.

  • 50tyson

    who cares no ones head vol.1 lmao

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