One of hip hop's true greats, Nas has always been keen to support new talent.
Now the rapper is set to launch his own imprint. Mass Appeal is a joint venture with Peter Bittenbender and aims to become a boutique creative partnership.
Signing a number of new artists, Nas is also intending to use the label as a base when his contract with Def Jam expires later this year. In an email confirming the project, Nas wrote: "I'm excited to be a part of creating and supporting future careers and legacy artists, promoting love and finding new genius to help the world. I'm going to be as involved as I need to be, but I also want to be respectful of the art and give artists the space they need to grow and become themselves."
The Mass Appeal label will sit alongside the publication of the same name, which was launched last year after Nas and Bittenbender utilised $1.2 million in start up funds.
Remarkably, the pair are using London independent XL Recordings as their model. Bittenbender explains: "We want to become the next XL. This is an opportunity to take everything we’ve learned and build a global, diversified label from the ground up."
Initial signings include Boldy James, long term Clash favourite Bishop Nehru and former XXL Freshman Fashawn.