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Pete Rock Plans on Suing Nas Over ‘Illmatic’ Royalties

Photo Credit: Johnny Nunez for “The Lost Tapes 2” Release Party via WireImage

Legendary hip-hop producer Pete Rock claims that he hasn’t been paid royalties for his work on Nas’ 1994 debut Illmatic.

Nas’ debut Illmatic was an instant classic, and album contributor Pete Rock says that he hasn’t been paid from its success. Page Six reported that the “The World Is Yours” producer is planning to file a lawsuit this month against Nas over unpaid royalties, nearly 30 years after Illmatic released.

Rock and his attorneys claim that Nas granted Rock a share of the proceeds for “The World Is Yours” through contract. Now worth millions of dollars, “The World Is Yours” also features a writing credit and vocals from Rock. The song was the only Illmatic single to have gone gold. The track is also the most-sampled Nas song, from Joey Bada$$ (“Hardknock”) to Eminem (“Book of Rhymes”).

“Nas and his people have stonewalled me since 1994; My New Year’s resolution is to be compensated for my hard work on Illmatic” Rock told Page Six.

Last year, Rock spoke with Okayplayer about the foundation of “The World Is Yours” during Illmatic recording sessions:

“Nas was a new voice but he already had such distinctive skill,” Rock said. “It was like it was supposed to happen; this guy had to be in hip-hop. There was no way in the world he could do anything else but rap,” he said. “I didn’t gear up [for Preemo] or put on a show, I just did what I’m supposed to do and knocked those scratches out of the park,” Rock said. “There was something special in the air as everyone was inspired by one another; there were a lot of producers in the same room working and pushing each other for Illmatic.”

Nas last collaborated with Pete Rock in 2019 on “The Art Of It” and “Queensbridge Politics” on his compilation album The Lost Tapes 2.

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