MC Serch Explains How Nas Owns a Piece of Jay-Z’s Music Catalog

A lengthy MC Serch interview on 'Drink Champs' took a turn to Hov when N.O.R.E. mentioned Jay calling out Serch on his “Takeover” diss on 'The Blueprint.'

jay-Z nas

Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Coachella

jay-Z nas

In his recent appearance on Drink Champs, hip-hop vet MC Serch explained how Nas got his hands on a bit of Jay-Z‘s publishing via his “Dead Presidents” sample. 

The lengthy interview took a turn to Hov when host N.O.R.E. mentioned how Jay called out Serch on his “Takeover” diss. Jay rapped on his 2001 Blueprint track, “And you ain’t get a coin, n***a, you were getting fucked then/I know who I paid, God: Serchlite Publishing” in reference to using the Nas sample.

Serch has now explained how things went down to clear the sample. 

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“And [Kareem Biggs], Dame, and Jay come to my office and say, ‘Hey, we have to clear this ‘Dead Presidents’ sample,’” he said. “’Take care of us.’ I said okay, no problem, give me 2,500—but know that we’ll have 25 percent of your record, on the publishing. He was like, ‘Alright, cool.’”

Serch said Hov “gave me a check for 2,500, I delivered it to [Zomba Music Group]. But if you look at the liner notes of ‘Dead Presidents,’ Nas is one of the publishers. So that line can live as long as it lives, but Jay don’t own a piece of Nas’ catalog, but Nas owns a piece of Jay’s catalog. And that’s a fact though.”

And he’s right about that—printed on the liner notes of Reasonable Doubt is Nas’ “Ill Willl Music” as a publisher under “Dead Presidents II” alongside the rapper’s name (“N. Jones”) as a writer. Serch explained he tried to go about things differently after executive producing Illmatic.

“I wasn’t going to be the Jew to take advantage off the Black man,” he shared about his relationship with Nas. “I don’t need to get wealthy off Nas, and I don’t. My checks are very humble and I’m okay with that. Cause they’ll go for the rest of my life. When you look at streaming, Illmatic streams 400 million a year to this day. I get my fair share.”

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