It seems that when Nas rhymed on the remix to
“The Pledge” with Ja Rule and Ashanti, he not only affirmed his Murderous
affiliation by spittin’ “Inc. is the label, ill will merger,”
but he also ambiguously claimed to be back with Steve Stoute, his former manager.
Stoute, who most recently was the head of the
black music division of Interscope Records, is rumored to be landing a new executive
position at Columbia Records, home to Nas, according to a report by FOXnews.com.
The report says that Sony Music C.E.O. Tommy
Mottola has been wooing Stoute for some time. Although the deal has not been
confirmed, the report goes on to state that music industry insiders have all
but confirmed the arrangement.
Stoute is often remembered as the recipient of
a champagne bottled ass whoopin’, courtesy of P.Diddy and his bodyguards.
Now, Diddy may be on the receiving end of karma.
The rap mogul’s distribution deal with Arista
Records has expired and he was rumored to be landing a new lucrative deal amidst
the empire of Sony Music. Now that Stoute will be joining the reins at Columbia,
it remains to be seen if Diddy will still sign his name on the dotted line.
The report notes that a call to representatives
at Bad Boy confirmed that Puff is overseas on a business trip in hopes of persuading
Heineken or another distiller to buy into his vision of a new, bigger Bad Boy.
A major player in the hip-hop industry, Stoute
has been in business for over a decade, entering the game by carry bags for
Kid N’ Play, then landing management deals with Nas and L.L. Cool J, before
joining the executive ranks. He served as Executive Producer on Nas’ It
Was Written and I Am.
Stoute also recently created a new company, PASS
(partner Peter Arnell and Stoute’s initials). "Urban marketing agencies
substitute a black actor for a white actor and call it an urban ad," Stoute
said in a recent interview. "PASS, aims to take urban marketing to a new,
highly integrated level. Stoute recently launched a line of cigars, the Zino
Platinum Series. Posters for the advertisements feature Jay-Z.
As for Nas, the Queensbridge/ Murder Inc. rapper’s
next album, God’s Son, is scheduled to arrive in stores November 19.