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?” The politically-charged Nas is due in stores July 1. For more of Nas’ thoughts on his new music, check EW’s summer music preview coverage in print on Friday.
UPDATE: In a statement, Nas clarified that he considers his new album untitled, adding: “It’s important to me that this album gets to the fans. It’s been a long time coming. I want my fans to know that, creatively and lyrically, they can expect the same content and the same messages. It’s that important. The streets have been waiting for this for a long time. The people will always know what the real title of this album is and what to call it.”