Stoute And Diddy May Face Off

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

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.