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.
I knew he wouldn’t go through with it. But you have to give the guy credit for knowing how to stir up media buzz for his upcoming album. Float it out there that you’re going to use the most offensive and controversial word in American culture as the title for your new album and – POW! – instant media frenzy!
While I understand why using that term as the title would have raised a few eyebrows – not to mention blood pressure – for many people, the idea was hardly original. Richard Pryor used the word in not once, not twice but three times in the title of his comedy albums during his career.
Controversy sells – plain and simple. Apparently even feigned controversy.