A couple of days ago, there was a report of yet another casualty in the domestic wars. Rapper, Nas, was ordered by a court, to pay ex-wife Kelis close to $88,000 in back child support and spousal support. And I would go into more details for those who have been living under a rock, but no need when you can read about the specifics here.
I know nothing about child support or the domestic court system, so I have no take on whether or not this order is fair, though on the surface it doesn’t seem to be. Seems to me $88,000 is a tad bit unreasonable for a man who gives his first-born an executive producer credit on all of his albums, and for all intents and purposes, has never been reported to be a dead beat dad. But hey, the order is the order and now Nas has to pay, which would be fine if he was that rich, but most people are speculating he isn’t. So, let’s just say for the sake of this post, Nas doesn’t have all the bread to pay the ex. What can he do?
Well, I’ll tell you what he can do. He can basically make the album no rapper has ever made, and album about his now decimated marriage, much like this one singer named Marvin Gaye did.
In 1978, Gaye released an album entitled, Here, My Dear. Though few Motown nerds would say this was one of Gaye’s best works (it was a double album with probably way too much filler), it’s back-story has been the stuff of legend. Make a long story short: When Marvin and his ex-wife Anna Gordy divorced, Marvin was unable to pay the child support administered to him out of pocket. Curtis Shaw, Marvin’s attorney, then drew up an agreement to give half the royalties from Marvin’s next album to Anna. Originally, Marvin planned to only give his next album a half-assed effort out of spite for his ex-wife and the arrangement, but when he started recording, it turned into an opus documenting Marvin’s relationship with his ex-wife from beautiful beginning to dreadful end. The album was so personal, Anna Gordy even considered suing her ex-husband. [For a more revealing look at the album, you can go here.]
When news of Nas’ court order hit the Internet, many of my followers and people I follow on Twitter suggested God’s Son should find a way to mimic what Marvin did over 30 years ago. And I sincerely hope he was listening.
Now more than ever Nas needs to give his music something he’s never really given: Heart. Sure he’s one of rap’s most passionate lyricists. Sure he offers up stories of his own trials and tribulations, but he always does so with the intent of lecturing. Nas isn’t about rapping what he feels so much as he’s about rapping what he thinks. If he does get personal on album, at best it’s two songs. But Nas, two songs won’t cut it. Not this time.
In this day and age, the only business that’s booming is the personal business of celebrities. Nas, can make the best sounding album of his career (quite frankly, from what I’ve heard on his new collaboration project with Damian Marley, Distant Relatives is definitely a banger), but his best ain’t gonna pay the bills. What will pay them is a concerted effort to create an album much like Here, My Dear. Make something classy, but revealing, an album so personal Kelis is going to want to pull an Anna Gordy and sue. Lace it with a bunch of R&B singers like Maxwell and John Legend, you know, for the ladies. And then just pour your fucking heart out, Nas. Forget the streets for once. Instead take us to the kitchen table and then, as your old nemesis 50 said, watch the money pile up.
For a man who once made a hip-hop album entitled, Hip-hop Is Dead and attempted to title another one, Nigger, an album documenting a marriage and its subsequent divorce should be easy. Hopefully Nas realizes the only way he is going to be able to pay off a debt of over close to a million dollars is by selling his soul for the masses to consume.
Turns out Nas didn’t need to make another album to pay off some of those crazy fees. Damn homie, you really are rich.