Is Def Jam Really A Good Look For Nas? Industry Insiders Weigh In

 With Nas reportedly signing to Jay-Z's Def Jam Records, SOHH.com talks to industry insiders to get their opinions on the historical move.

As previously reported, the Queens lyricist has signed a new deal with the legendary label. The New York Times reported that Nas' new contract will be a venture between Sony and Def Jam. The two companies will split profit and any loss from his next two recordings. Def Jam is due to pay for the LP's production and marketing and will share the profits after recovering its expenses. Sony and IDJ will both supervise the CD's marketing campaigns. The rumored Nas/Def Jam signing had been the talk of radio for months.

With the deal almost confirmed, industry insiders have plenty to say on the move.

"I have been a fan of Nas' for a long time," Hot 97 New York radio personality/VH1's Best Week Ever correspondent Miss Info told SOHH.com. "I wrote that [The Source's] 5-mic Illmatic review back in the day. But this move confuses me. Why pay two labels instead of one?

"If it's because Nas wants to benefit from the powerhouse production and marketing of Def Jam, then its cool," she adds. "But as a fan I remember that Nas' best work never needed anything but a grimy beat and his lyrical genius. I'm not fiending for Nas-Mariah [Carey] collabos. And I'm pretty sure he could get any star to work with him, no matter what label he was on."

While Info seems wary of the deal, BET.com executive editor Kim Osorio believes the signing is a great move for President Carter.

"Nas signing to Def Jam is a big move for Jay-Z, as president of the label," said Osorio who has also served as editor-in-chief of The Source. "But the impact on hip-hop will depend on the quality of the music."

WEDR Miami's DJ Irie thinks that given the Cam'ron/Jay-Z beef, Nas may come out on top of them all.

"I think it's great that Nas signed to Def Jam," Irie told SOHH.com. "Amidst the Jay/Cam drama its Nas that has the most to win or lose. Jay is retired and Cam's argument isn't that poignant. So when the smoke clears people are going to be really critical of Nas' new material."

Sources say the deal will earn Nas $3 million, including a recording budget for his first two Sony/Def Jam releases as well as two succeeding Def Jam albums. Sony will retain the right to drop a Nas greatest hits CD.

Following years of feuding, the two made peace at Power 105.1 New York's Powerhouse concert this past October.

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