For the second release in a row, Nas has been forced to abandon his dream of releasing a CD named N—–. Last time he caved to pressure, he was able to think up a different controversial gimmick, but instead of naming his upcoming album The Obama Of Rap or Anal Fixation, he’s gone with Nas, simply Nas. While there had been talk of further pressure from his label, it’s surprising that such a change would be pushed for well into the pre-release hype cycle. Maybe once his Def Jam contract ends, Nas can release digital downloads with all the controversial file names he can think of.
A representative for Def Jam has confirmed to EW.com that hip-hop artist Nas has made an eleventh-hour decision to change the title of his new album from N—– to simply Nas. The Queens rapper sparked a heated debate last fall when he announced the provocative title for his upcoming ninth record, but last October, Island Def Jam Music Group chair Antonio “L.A.” Reid publicly denied widespread reports that label execs were uncomfortable with his decision. “We stand firmly behind and beside our artists with pride and with pleasure,” Reid told MTV News at the time. “Anything Nas wants to do, I completely stand beside him.”
But in an interview with MTV News last week, Nas suggested that he was facing renewed pressure: “Everybody is trying to stop the title…. Record stores are gonna have a problem in this day and time selling a record with that title. Who knows what’s gonna turn out and be on that title? Who knows what that title will be?”