Monday, January 23, 2006
An unholy alliance
LOS ANGELES (Billboard) - When Nas' first album under his new Def Jam Recordings pact is released later this year, it will mark the latest chapter in his truce with fellow rapper Jay-Z, the label's president.It would be really easy to take the bandwagoneer route and chalk this up as the white flag for Nasir since he's now wound up on the label run by the man who spent the better part of 2002-on throwing dirt on his relevance and splashed off in his child's mother for extra salt in the wound. With Mobb Deep relegated to being G-Unit's newest cheerleaders and the artist formerly known as Esco under the IDJMG umbrella, finding a Queensbridge MC with a set of balls still attached is a more difficult undertaking than the search for the Holy Grail.
Nas' jump to Def Jam after an 11-year tenure at Columbia comes on the heels of the rap icons' headline-making, onstage lovefest last October during R&B/hip-hop WWPR New York's Power House concert.
The two had battled over who would wear the New York rap crown following the 1997 death of the Notorious B.I.G. The feud kicked into high gear in 2001 when Nas' fiery "Ether" countered Jay-Z's teasing "The Takeover."
But I digress...that's a lot of residual disappointment talking there. In the bigger picture, I'm glad to see that maturity still has a place in rap and these two grew up enough to put the past behind them and forge ahead without the script ending in gunfire.
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