MC Serch has shared his plans to sell his share of Nas’ music catalogue, including the classic records Illmatic and It Was Written. Serch had helped to broker Nas’ original deal with Columbia Records, and now he has made the decision to sell his rights to the music after nearly 30 years.
Serch said, “I have decided to sell all of the rights, including the global rights. I started conversations with several companies a few months ago. For 27 years, it has provided my family through good times and bad. Now it’s time for a new chapter.”
The ex-3rd Base rapper has received several offers for his share and will reportedly agree to a deal soon, although, as of yet, he has not accepted any bids. Serch had been the owner of a portion of Nas’ publishing rights since before Nas’ debut album Illmatic dropped back in 1994.
The album is considered one of the most significant records in the history of hip-hop and was added to the Library of Congress in 2021. Serch also owns a part of Nas’ 1996 album, It Was Written, which is Nas’ best-selling album to date, having been certified triple platinum.
The legal ownership of Nas’ music was called into question in the early 2000s when Jay-Z sampled ‘The World Is Yours’ from Illmatic on his track ‘Takeover’. Jay-Z then said that he paid Serch’s company, Serchlite Publishing for the sample.
Serch said of this occurrence, “He gave me a check for twenty-five hundred, 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’ catalogue, but Nas owns a piece of Jay’s catalogue. And that’s a fact though.”