We won’t fill you in on the details, cause Ras says it all. This is an open letter to Capitol from Ras Kass:

As a corporation, EMI/Capitol Records has a financial obligation to
it’s shareholders to make sure that it’s stock goes up each quarter,
but at some point isn’t there some ethical obligation to it’s employees
(artists) to be humane and show some degree of moral turpitude?
Furthermore, can’t these two ideals coexist, especially in my case? It
seems to me and many others that since the year 2000 Capitol is either
unable or unwilling to offer me an opportunity to (1) release and
market my music and (2) thereby allow me to generate income for myself
and the company. So the logical and fiscal thing to do would be to
allow a third party capable of successfully translating my talent into
profit, do just that. Instead I’ve been foiled in every attempt to
either work within the confines of Capitol; when I’ve tried to find any
amicable way of bringing in any interested third party I’ve been
thwarted by egomaniacal executives who refuse to be the least bit
reasonable in my efforts to work out a solution for all parties
involved. For six years EMI/Capitol has enforced a contract that they
have breached time after time, paying attorneys thousand of dollars to
bind me to a record deal that they themselves refuse to honor. I ask
you, how is not allowing me to generate ANY income financially viable
for their shareholders? How is not allowing me to work within or
outside the company for six years morally justifiable? Now, after an
entire decade, one third of my life, watching this label’s entire
artists’ roster change at least five times over, I simply would like to
ask why? Why are you doing this to me?

I’ve been criticized for, and accused of many things, but my
professional work ethic has never been called into question. Since the
day I signed to Priority Records, I’ve worked diligently to the best of
my ability, often with limited resources to uphold my end of our
recording agreement and successfully delivered two albums in 1996 and
1998, even going so far, as to move back to Los Angeles in 2000 to
jumpstart my third album respectively titled ‘Van Gogh’. Unfortunately
for me these facts have been overlooked when in 2001 I was set to
release ‘Van Gogh’ amid the chaotic Capitol/Priority merger, and Wendy
Goldstein was given the VP position. In a meeting with Wendy, my
attorney, and myself during Nov. 2000 one week before my album was set
to be released without proper marketing (due to internal fears
resulting from the impending downsizing). With all parties afore
mentioned knowing that through no fault of my own the album was doomed
to underachieve, Wendy persuaded me to “record a few more songs” and
give Capitol enough time to properly promote this project that would
later be known as ‘Goldyn Chyld’. Apologies were made as well as a
verbal agreement, with my attorney present, as to who would bear the
brunt of the financial responsibility due to the drawn out recording
process and mismanagement (1999-2002) of the Van Gogh project – Capital
would rightfully incur those costs. So in good faith I began recording
“a few new songs”. While recording, new ads were placed in XXL and The
Source magazines that read like obituaries:

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REST IN PEACE 1999-2002

Van gogh of priority records, age 3,

died Tuesday, January 1st 2002, of complications

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from bootlegging, corporate drama & corporate bullshit

An admission of responsibility if there ever was one. The’ Goldyn
Chyld
’ master was accepted but not surprisingly Capitol and Wendy
reneged on their verbal agreement. I would be held wholly accountable
for the mismanagement of my project (Van Gogh). Later that year 2002 I
would learn that Andy Slater president of capital decided he was not
releasing Goldyn Chyld because Dr. Dre refused to allow capital to
release the song he produced for me entitled “Whoop” as the first
single. The problem was there had already been a first single released.
Goldyn Chyld’s title song produced by DJ Premier had already been
shipped as promotional vinyl and CD’s to college/mixshow radio and it
had always been agreed upon as the lead street single. The next single
called “See What I See” was for urban radio and the first video, and
the plan had always been for “Whoop” to be the crossover record to
propel my album post-release. None the less, Capitol tried to coerce
Dr. Dre, failed, and penalized me. I would be left in limbo, go to jail
for a year, expected to owe Capitol for the two mismanaged albums and
hope that a year from then I would be given a chance to record a third
album even after I had already had the rug pulled out from under my
feet twice. Timeline-wise this puts us at late 2002, when I saw no
other option but to sue for breech of contract in hopes that it would
bring attention from parent company EMI to how mismanaged my situation
was, expecting they would resolve it fairly. Didn’t happen, after I
sued Capitol in California I was not only served with a counter-suit
from Capitol in Hollywood but also sued in NYC by EMI. Lawsuits cost
generous sums of money and since it wasn’t financially feasible for me,
I was unable to answer the New York case. In retrospect if I could’ve
come up with another $20,000 logic prevails that EMI would have sued me
in another state too, specifically to force me to spread myself thin,
knowing I didn’t have that kind of capital to keep expending especially
since I technically hadn’t worked in six years. Basically EMI won a
default judgement meaning a no-show on a case that is the complete
opposite allegation of the Capital lawsuit. Capital claimed I never
turned in an album, while EMI registered 30+ songs in one day to ASCAP
and alleged that from 2000-2003 I committed copyright infringement.
They were even petty enough to sue regional mixtape DJ’s who put Ras
Kass
freestyles on their tapes. Mind you, these were songs they neither
wanted to use nor were the majority ever paid for including studio
time. Also, it is normal music industry practice to release unused, or
“exclusive” songs to the internet and mixtape dj’s to promote the album
and create a ‘buzz’. Still, after four years that precedent allowed the
California legal system to grant a motion of dismissal, which brings me
to this.

As an employee of any company you get paid every two weeks,
whereas an artist you only get paid when you put out an album. So why
wouldn’t I want to release a project? The only person I would be
hurting is myself, right? Further proving my point, between Sept. 05
and Sept. 06, a twelve-month period, I recorded three full length mixed
CD’s worth of material. Compare two albums in ten years with capital to
3 potential albums in one-year independently. I repeat – I just want to
work.

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In closing I would like to say that what has been done to me is a
travesty. There are many people worldwide, including former and present
Priority/Capitol employees who consider me one of the most prolific
urban poets of our time and who believe that my ordeal is a disservice
to Hip Hop as a collective. As of today, because of the courts ruling,
which is legal but not moral or just, I have no choice but to again
honor the contract Priority/Capitol has rarely honored since 2000.
Ironically, any attempts by me or my council to move forward have been
drawn out, irrational, or just plain not responded to as we attempt to
either release an album on capital or attempt to negotiate an amicable
release (from the label). I wonder at times why EMI/Capitol continues
to effectively enforce a judgement that it neither wants nor plans to
honor, and how the costs incurred in undermining my career have been
justified to upper management and shareholders. After 10 years hasn’t
my life been held up enough? What if I was your son or daughter with a
dream, how would you feel then? I hope there’s some shred of decency in
some part of the executive level of EMI or Capitol so that we can at
least have a rational dialogue moving towards resolution.

Sincerely, Ras Kass

http://www.petitiononline.com/raskass1/petition.html