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Name: Adam Bernard
Home: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States
About Me: Entertainment journalist with 15+ years of experience. Supporter of indie music. Lover of day baseball, fringe movies, & chicken shawarma. Part time ninja. Nerdy, but awesome.
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DMX for Nas
Wednesday, February 01, 2006
In moves that happened less than two weeks apart DMX left Def Jam for Sony and Nas left Sony for Def Jam. Ten years ago this would have been the biggest news in Hip-Hop, today it’s only a slight blip on Hip-Hop’s radar. To me this is like two baseball teams trading aging veterans that neither wants to deal with anymore. With that analogy in mind, let’s go over the particulars of this deal.

First you have DMX, who’s moving from Def Jam to Sony. On Def Jam DMX was always the kind of player who consistently played above his head but who’s temper never failed to get him into trouble. Consider DMX the Kenny Rogers of this deal. No one’s ever going to consider Kenny Rogers an all-time great, but he’s been one of those guys that when you look at his stats at the end of the year you say “really? His record was that good?” Sure, he’s a career 190-131, which is very good, but he’s not someone you can build around and when you come right down to it his record is misleading, just like DMX’s record of having every one of his albums hit #1 on the charts. Rogers also has a temper that flares up, including the time last year when he shoved a cameraman, which netted him a suspension. DMX also has a temper, which is why he recently spent some time in jail (where I’m sure he saw lots of real cops, giving him plenty of ideas for the next time he tries to fake being one). Even with this kind of checkered past Sony is willing to take a chance on X because they know if they can keep his head on straight he has the ability to play over that head.

The other side of this “deal” involves Nas going from Sony to Def Jam. Nas has always been a player with all the potential in the world. He showed that clearly in his rookie year with Illmatic and followed that up with a good sophomore season with It Was Written. Unfortunately he hasn’t been able to recapture that magic with the exception of a good streak during his Stillmatic season. Nas is essentially a player who shows flashes of brilliance but never fully blossoms, much like Nomar Garciaparra (they also both have hot wives. Nas has Kelis and Nomar has Mia Hamm). Nomar’s that guy who everyone knows is capable of having a tremendous season, but he’s only done it a few times and has become more of a consistent disappointment rather than a superstar. Nas is the same way, occasionally reminding people of his great start, but almost always falling into terrible songs that don’t show off his skills in the least and oftentimes contradict that points he tries to make. The man hasn’t had a #1 album in seven years, but Def Jam, knowing he has the Nomar-like ability to be great, is taking the chance on him.

Overall this is a deal that could go either way depending on which veteran, if either, steps up and plays to the best of their ability. Since the deal is so young the jury is obviously still out on this one, we’ll just have to keep an eye on it to see which player, if either, succeeds with their new team.
posted by Adam Bernard @ 9:00 AM  
  • At 10:33 PM, Blogger Ketchums said…

    I'd rather have Nas, because he's a more level-headed artist; at the most, he'll rebel against the music you want him to make. He won't get into all the legal trouble that DMX has let plague his career. Nas is a consistent artist, but in my opinion, he just hasn't had the production to push him over the top. But he has his street credibility back now, so I think that once he gets the label support and beats that a major label has to offer, he'll be in great shape. Hopefully he does that full album with Premo that everybody's been waiting for.

    DMX has just fallen off, period. I don't think he'll ever hit #1 again, he's just past his prime altogether.

  • At 3:09 PM, Blogger Adam said…

    Nas and Primo would be interesting. Let's just hope it's the "New York State of Mind" Nas and not the "Hold Me Back" Nas. that's been my main issue with hiim all these years, his hypocritical ways when it comes to being socially conscious one minute and pimpin and hoein the next.

    Agreed on DMX he's probably well past his prime. Part of the reason for his sales may have been the Def Jam machine that was in full working order at the time.

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