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Hip-hop producer Pete Rock plans to sue rap star Nas for his unrewarded hard work on the rapper’s over-the-top, double-platinum album “Illmatic” released in 1994.
The legendary producer claims Nas has not paid him a cent in royalties despite a contract they signed, which made it clear that Rock would get a portion of the proceeds from the celebrated track “The World Is Yours”. Rock is credited for helping to write the song apart from producing it. Moreover, he provided even the vocals.
The track is the only single on the 25-year-old LP to have made it to gold. According to those in the know, it is also the song by Nas that most hip-hop artists have sampled. Some of the big names who have sampled it include Eminem, Jaz-Z, Rick Ross, and Lil Wayne. The late Mac Miller is also said to be on the list. That’s not all: the song was also used in “Antwoine Fisher,” a film directed by Denzel Washington.
The royalties accrued now run into millions of dollars. Before Rock went the lawsuit way, his lawyers are said to have repeatedly asked Nas to honor the terms of the contract, but they were always met with silence. They are now preparing to file a lawsuit before the end of January.
“Nas and his people have stonewalled me since 1994; My New Year’s resolution is to be compensated for my hard work on ‘Illmatic.’” Said Rock, speaking to Page Six.
After the album’s release in question, Nas and Pete Rock went on to work together on other projects. Nas featured Rock on two other tracks: “Queensbridge Politics,” and “The Art Of It” both of which featured on Nas’s 2019 compilation album, “The Lost Tapes 2.” It’s not clear what the working terms for these other engagements stipulate.