A Nigerian music label is suing Queensbridge's own Nasir Jones, who you might know better as Nas, for allegedly welshing on his promise to provide a verse to one of the label's artists even after they paid him for it. The good news for Nas, though, is that the court papers are very complimentary about his career.
In a lawsuit filed in New York State Supreme Court last week, Nas and his business partner Ronnie Goodman are accused of ripping off Nigerian music label Chocolate City Limited to the tune of $50,000. According to CCL, back in 2013 Goodman and Nas, who's described as "a highly respected lyricist in the music industry" in the lawsuit, agreed that Nas would contribute a verse to a track by M.I., himself a Nigerian rapper who the lawsuit says has sold 15 million records. M.I. wanted to work with Nas, according to court papers, "because of NAS's exceptional talent as a lyric writer."
While Nas did deliver a verse for M.I. to use, the lawsuit contends that the verse in question didn't have any of the subject matter or name drops the two artists had agreed it would have: "M.I, Chocolate City, Nigeria, Queens, New York—NAS's hometown—, Mandela, Trayvon Martin, and the struggles of Africans and African Americans." CCL requested that Nas re-record the verse, which the label says he never did, despite a promise to do so at some point and also despite an upfront payment of $45,000 to him and $5,000 to Goodman as Nas's agent.
Four years have gone by and Nas has yet to deliver the verse, according to Chocolate City, leaving them no choice but to sue. The label is asking for a refund of their $50,000, along with one million dollars in damages relating to lost profits from being unable to market and sell the M.I./Nas collaboration, and punitive damages and attorney's fees. Representatives for Nas and Mass Appeal records could not be reached for comment.