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Jay-Z’s Return KOs Nas

Bring that beef back.

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W ill Jay-Z’s comeback reignite one of the biggest feuds in hip-hop? The Def Jam president and not-so-retired rapper put an end to a long-standing quarrel with revered Queens rapper Nas when he signed him last year. “We’re both excited by what this could potentially mean for hip-hop as a whole,” Nas said at the time. But then the November release of Nas’s hotly anticipated Def Jam debut, tentatively titled Hip-Hop Is Dead … The N, was suddenly delayed until after Jay-Z’s new album, Kingdom Come. Is Nas’s boss bigfooting him to steal his thunder? D.J. Sickamore, an A&R man at Atlantic Records, attributes the delay to Jay-Z. “Nas is talking about how his album is incredible. Nas did not release a press release saying, ‘My album’s not ready.’ ” Anslem Samuel, music editor of the hip-hop magazine XXL, also expressed surprise that Jay-Z would choose to outshine his own artist. “Someone that’s your peer, there should be a priority to do right by him. Especially after the beef.” Reps for Nas and Jay-Z were not available to comment. Nas’s album is expected to be out in mid-December.

Have good intel? Send tips to intel@nymag.com.


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