Nas Connects Barack Obama's Prez Run To Current Noose Craze, New CD "Nigger" Cosigned By Def Jam
While critics have attacked the "N"-word title as derogatory, Nas' plans for the new CD appear to have the opposite intention. According to a recent interview with Rolling Stone, Nas initially planned to give the title to his last album, Hip Hop Is Dead, but he found the timing was off.
"The climate wasn't right, and Hip Hop Is Dead is also what I was feeling," Nas told Rolling Stone. "That went first, and now I've got to get this one off my chest."
Concerned about the recent spread of noose-related hate crimes occurring across the U.S., Nas is feeling an urgency to speak out.
"It's the new act of hate, and probably because of Barack Obama, people's ignorance and fear and jealousy is creating an outrage throughout the country, and people are reacting by putting nooses up," Nas said. "It's been a really serious year."
"It's like talking to your child about sex," he added. "It's hard, but it's important. It's probably going to make people uncomfortable. I don't expect a lot of people to sell a record called Ni**er. Hopefully, people can open their minds up and lose some of their fear and deal with it. It's just an album. It's one piece of the many things I do, and this will be one of my favorite pieces."
Meanwhile, Brooklyn assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries has asked that the New York Comptroller withdraw an $84 million state pension fund invested in Universal Music Group, home to Nas' label Def Jam, unless the rapper changes his title.
"[They are] profiting from a racial slur that has been used to dehumanize people of color for centuries," Jeffries said. "It is time for Nas and other hip-hop artists to clean up their act and stop flooding the airwaves with the N-word."
Universal has yet to respond to those demands.
Earlier this month Island Def Jam Music Group chairman Antonio "L.A." Reid told reporters Nas was not expected to release an album this December, and if he did it would be unlikely to be released under such a title. However, the album and title has since been confirmed and the label plans to fully support the title.
"It will be certain record stores that will be scared to deal with it," Nas said. "[But] the record label is gung-ho, and it's ready to go."