Jay-z DISSED NAS ONCE ABOUT PUBLISHING PROBLEMS, BUT MC SERCH IS SETTING THE RECORD STRAIGHT.
Jay-z and Nas had one of Hip Hop’s most well-publicized feuds. For years, their relationship was plagued by multiple diss tracks and tense public interactions. They recently appeared on DJ Khaled’s track “Sorry Not Sorry” together, which they would never have done before.
MC Serch sat down with co-hosts N.O.R.E. and DJ EFN for an interview with REVOLT’s Drink Champs series to discuss a variety of topics, including his extensive history with Nasty Nas. N.O.R.E. mentioned how Jay-z called out Serch on the 2001 Nas diss “Takeover,” saying, “And you ain’t get a coin, n-gga, you were getting fucked then/I know who I paid, God: Serchlite Publishing,” in reference to using the Nas sample. Serch, who executive produced Nas’ seminal debut Illmatic in 1994, quickly clarified the situation and explained how Nas actually owns a portion of JAY-catalog. Z’s
“[Kareem Biggs], Dame, and Jay come to my office and say, ‘Hey, we have to clear this ‘Dead Presidents’ sample,’” he said around 47 minutes in. “’Look after us.'” I said, ‘OK, no problem, give me $2,500 — just know we’re going to take 25% of your record for publishing.’ ‘Alright, cool,’ he said. “[Jay] gave me a $2,500 check, which I delivered to [Zomba Music Group].” However, according to the liner notes for ‘Dead Presidents,’ Nas is one of the publishers. So that line can live as long as it wants, but Jay doesn’t own a piece of Nas’ catalog, but Nas does. That is, however, a fact.”
Nas’ “Ill Willl Music” as a publisher under “Dead Presidents II” is printed on the liner notes of JAY-1996 Z’s album Reasonable Doubt, alongside Nas’ government name (“N. Jones”) as a writer. Serch stated that after executive producing Illmatic, he decided to reconsider their working relationship. “I wasn’t going to be the Jew who preyed on the Black man,” he explained. “I don’t need to become wealthy because of Nas, and I don’t. My checks are modest, which is fine with me because they will last the rest of my life. In terms of streaming, Illmatic currently streams 400 million hours per year. I’m getting my fair share.” Serch also discussed his upcoming Breaking Anonymity podcast, his shady history with MC Hammer, MF DOOM’s shocking death, and why he’ll never drop the “MC” from his name. The full interview can be found above.