Will Nas’ New Album Hit Stores With Its Title Intact?

nassssssssssss.gifNas has been running into problems thanks to the proposed title for his upcoming album–you may have heard about it; it’s the N-word–since it was announced in October. But with the (rumored) album cover circulating ’round the Web since December, Nas and Mrs. Nas showing up to the Grammys in promotional N-word jackets, and Nas putting up his dukes on high-profile hip-hop magazine covers as he brandishes the album’s controversial slur, it looked as if Def Jam was going to let the rapper’s shit-stirring title stand unedited. But the album was initially announced as having a (highly unrealistic) December release date before being pushed back to February, and with February almost gone, it seems Def Jam’s L.A. Reid is still wary about shipping the record before it’s “ready.”

Though Nas seems confident that his controversial title will fly, Reid is not so sure. When asked if the new Nas album will be released with the n-word title, Reid replied with, “We’ll have to see.”

According to Reid, the album, which was originally slated for a December 2007 release will drop sometime this spring. “Hopefully we’ll get it in April or May,” he told SOHH exclusively. “Something like that, somewhere around there. It’s getting there, we’re getting close.”

Who knows whether it’s boardroom wrangling over the title, a late-breaking tracklist change, or the now all-too-familiar “we’re gonna keep pushing this hotly anticipated album back for no obvious reason” major label marketing strategy that’s actually delaying Nas’ button-pushing opus, but Reid notes that anxious fans can still snag Island Def Jam’s upcoming Lionel Richie album in the interim between now and the second quarter of ’08 ’09 TBA.

Nas ni99a [sic] Album Title In Jeopardy [SOHH]

  • Chris Molanphy

    My bet: Reid is telling Nas, “If we’re gonna let you release it with that title, it either had better be your best since Illmatic or there’d better be a fat hit single on it.” I’m guessing he’s holding up release until one of those two things happens.

  • qyntellspitbull

    Why can’t they just do it NY Times style and call it ******?

    I can’t believe he called his album “Pissed.”

  • Chris N.

    One unexplored aspect of the album-delay phenomenon is the fact that some artists like to toss around release dates in the media in hopes of applying pressure on the label to follow through. Of course, it never works.

  • Al Shipley

    I really think that the delays of this album have as much to do with Nas’s inability to finish it on schedule, or turn in a single with any radio potential, than this lame controversy.
    Other than that, this album doesn’t really present any marketing challenges different than the ones facing forthcoming albums like Busta Rhymes’s Back On My Bullshit or Jadakiss’s Kiss My Ass. Hell, putting the CD in a plain sleeve and pretending like the title is even more incendiary than it actually is would probably make for a pretty effective hook.

  • worldsfair

    Boondocks will have a field day with this;)

    hmm. part 3 of Gangsterlicious saga or part 3 of the Stinkmeaner saga? hmmm… or both???

  • Anonymous

    Nas is one person I wouldn’t have recommended leave Columbia for Def Jam….by trying to make the leap from ‘credible lyricist’ to ‘full-fledged hip-hop star’ his star power has diminished drastically.

    Does anybody think this ridiculous album title will make any impact whatsoever, beyond all the press surrounding it prior to its release?!

  • Anonymous

    The title should be followed by the words “stay away from will.i.am.” That’ll soothe some minds.

  • Jfrankparnell

    If that’s the title when it leaks, no way am I posting the rapidshare file.