Ask any rap fan to list the greatest rap albums of all time and you might be surprised with how many times Illmatic, the epic 1994 debut album by Queens-bred rap king Nas, manages to get mentioned at the top.
The project has become a pillar in defining everything people love about Golden Era rap, and much of that can be attributed to the top-tier production on the 10-track LP modestly timed at just under 40 minutes long. Surprisingly enough, one of the mastermind mixers behind a fan-favorite track is claiming that he hasn’t been paid any of his dues throughout the three decades since Illmatic originally dropped.
Hip-hop icon Pete Rock made headlines recently after it was reported that he’s planning to hit Esco with a lawsuit over the standout Illmatic album single “The World Is Yours.” According to Page Six, attorneys for Rock stated that a percentage of royalties for the song was promised to their client by way of a contract that Nas signed himself. The lawsuit is said to be a result after repeated attempts to reach the Magic emcee in order to have him honor the original agreement. Rock told the outlet exclusively, “Nas and his people have stonewalled me since 1994; My New Year’s resolution is to be compensated for my hard work on Illmatic.”
More on the legacy of “The World Is Yours” below, via Page Six:
“The track is the song most sampled by hip-hop artists from Nas’ catalog, according to insiders. It has been sampled by Jay-Z, Eminem, Rick Ross, Lil Wayne, and the late Mac Miller.
The song was also used in the film ‘Antwoine Fisher,’ directed by and starring Denzel Washington.”
The lawsuit is reportedly totaled at a price in the millions, with Pete Rock and his legal team preparing to file later this month.
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Not liking what I’m hearing about Pete Rock to sue Nas over royalties from illmatic. Hey, if Pete is owed it then of course he should do it. One thing to think about though – is it Nas or his team’s fault? I can’t imagine Nas doing Pete dirty.
— Andreas Antoniou (@kingrandae) January 12, 2022
Pete Rock suing Nas over Illmatic royalties made me cry
— ICE BERG SLIM (@airveezy3) January 12, 2022
Reading that Pete Rock is suing Nas over “The World is Yours” is some sad hip hop news to hear. Big fans of both. Hope they get that worked out
— DJ RodWayne (@RodWayneSaidIt) January 12, 2022
Pete Rock suing Nas just sounds crazy.
— De (@streetherapy) January 12, 2022
Everybody's on the Lawsuit and Nas didn't Own shit back then, Pete Rock has Produced for many Artists, Money is coming from everywhere, he obviously has Lawyers to peep where hasn't gotten Paid from https://t.co/3hktdUXXKe
— Madd Slander (@madd_slander) January 12, 2022
Pete Rock wanting to fight Nas over Illmatic royalties has me crying cause them niggas gave a teenager the ultimate care package of producers
— Sport (@BeenRichSport) January 12, 2022
Pete Rock suing Nas was not on my 2022 hip hop bingo card.
— Czarheel (@Czarheel) January 12, 2022
Pete Rock is suing Nas for unpaid royalties. As a producer myself, I understand. pic.twitter.com/HoCT70nTsU
If I see any Nas slander due to this Pete Rock illmatic drama I'm blocking your stupid ass! pic.twitter.com/OBX7DoNdEf
— Kris-tina (@so_so_chris) January 12, 2022
Nas screwing Pete Rock just doesn't sound like him or suit his persona… Its probably the industry middlemen who messed up. Sucks to hear anyway…
— Richard (@Richard_L_100) January 13, 2022
This probably why we didn’t get more Nas and Pete collabs in the 90s.
— St. N!ck유 (@buhloone) January 12, 2022
Man, I hope this Nas/Pete Rock thing gets resolved before it hits the courts.
— Drew-Jit-Su (@hiphopsince76) January 12, 2022
Nas & Pete Rock really concealed their bad vibes for over 2 decades pic.twitter.com/1Am9XgP8Px
— DonBolo (@DonBolo79) January 12, 2022
People really mad at Pete Rock for suing Nas? Like really? This a business. And Nas would absolutely sue if someone used his music and not paid him. The principle he is owed songwriter and producer credits. Y'all crazy! pic.twitter.com/YgKsOgjbGx
— Spicy Nurse :IdontargueIblock! (@nightnurse38) January 13, 2022
Pete Rock suing Nas over Unpaid Illmatic royalties
I don't think 19 year old Nas knew what was in his own contract even.
— AMWINE HONEST (@honeamwine) January 12, 2022