Nas recently released a new song titled Surviving The Times off his upcoming Greatest Hits album. But it seems like the song has gotten the attention of underground emcee Wordsmith. A regular in HipHopDX's audio section, Wordsmith claims that the song eerily resembles his song titled As The Art Fades Away and addresses the possibility in a written statement to HipHopDX.com.
"I wrote my track "As the Art Fades Away" in 2006, as an unofficial version that I actually recently re-recorded for my debut album "The Next Level Experience" on Saturday, October 6th until I heard about this. My in house producer Strada made this beat a year ago and I am here to just state the facts and not attack Nas, so I just ask that everyone judges this fairly. No producer is going start a track the exact same way and no producer is going use the same sounds, loops, rhythms, etc. to create a track. My version starts off with a sample of my own voice saying "The pop rap charts make the art fade away" followed by "That's the whole tragic point my friend." Now, whoever produced Nas's version, and I heard its Chris Webber, which sounds rather odd to me, would not start there track off with the same sample unless they heard it somewhere else first. To me they strung the sample out from there, so it would sound different, but the piano, horn, and baseline are exactly the same way my producer laid his."
Two, my producer used "What Would I do" as the hook part of my song and I Chose to fill it in by saying Imagine if certain rappers never did what they did, how would the game be. Nas's version uses the same concept, but the producer uses a different section of the song where its says,"What Would I do," from the Wiz and just looped the hook. I have never officially released this track and it can only be heard on my myspace page. I put it out last year because I felt the game really needed it, but I like I said I have re-recorded it with no samples and a female singing on the hook, so it is radio ready to be dropped as my first official single on December 1st. I still filed it with ASCAP last year and anybody can look up my name at ascap.com to see I registered it last year along with the BDS. Furthermore, Nas has the same concept as me and I just want to say this again, no two rappers are going write about the same thing when they hear a beat and no two producers are going to produce a beat the same exact way. With that said, that's what makes music unique; the fact that any musician has the creative freedom to create something special from scratch, that's what keeps music fresh. I don't really know what else to say, but that I am disappointed in one of our greats, but at the same time, I do not know Nas or Chris Webber for that matter, so I can't really say what happened. I do know the Wiz movie has been out there since Nas and I were kids and millions of producers could of sampled it, but my Producer Strada had the idea first, so that tells me something, but until the facts come out I am just speculating.
Finally, please don't look at this as I am complaining because I am not, I just felt the need to speak on it because so many great people have come to my defense, so I would like to thank everyone out there for that and I even would like to think any haters as well because we all have a job to do. So what I have done is post links to both tracks below, please check them out and leave your comments. Thanks for everyone's time and lets not make this a bash session, but a good old fashioned challenge to Nas and the fans. Let us know who has the better track because my official version of "As the Art Fades Away" will drop on December 1st followed by the Video on MTV and BET, so look out for me, PEACE!!!"
Judge for yourself...
Nas - Surviving The Times (prod. by Chris Webber)
Wordsmith - As The Art Fades Away (prod. by Strada)
Sample: The Wiz - What Would I Do If I Could Feel (f. Nipsey Russell)
Wordsmith's official album version of As the Art Fades Away will drop on all major digital outlets and stores on December 1st. And you already know HipHopDX will have the exclusive at the end of October (to go along with the video).