As we reported, in 2014 the record label SOPHIE paid $6.3 million to the rapper for his song “Faces,” which was shot in 2015.
Why is this important? Because SOPHIE, Inc. owns “Mental Health” LLC. (Nas, RZA, Ghostface Killah, GZA etc.)
Mental Health is the only record label owned by this conglomerate, and SOPHIE, Inc. owns the majority of the stock in SOPHIE, Inc.
But that isn’t the important part. The key to understanding Nas’s current predicament is how he’s been exploiting the music industry. In particular, how.
Nas was already making a killing by having a big-time producer (and partner), Ebro Darden, work at his side and for him. There’s much more to this story but we’ll leave it at this point.
What is Nas doing in prison
In April 2015, before the “YAH” mixtape was released, Nas was sentenced to 10 years in an Illinois federal prison. He started to take his case against rap’s elite and its record label managers seriously as well. A few months after he had his last court hearing on the “Mental Health” case, in December 2015 a federal jury awarded Nas $4 million in damages.
On October 14, 2016, the same day that the record label and “the people” released Nas’s next mixtape, “All of the Lights,” SOPHIE, Inc. released Nas (in the form of an $8 million settlement settlement) from his prison sentence. That settlement involved a “limited liability company,” SOPHIE, Inc. – as in SOPHIE, Inc., a record and record label company owned by this conglomerate.
It’s not clear what, if any, rights Nas has to that company, other than royalties earned from royalties received from the “Yah” record. The settlement is being distributed among SOPHIE, Inc.’s shareholders, so the money may never have to be distributed to Nas.
So where’d Nas get these millions in the first place?
The settlement deal was in keeping with a tradition of big-time lawsuits that have always existed in the music industry. But what the record labels have been trying to do with this method is apply it to the rest of the business.
Most notably, for the past few
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