Nas, who turned hip-hop on its ear 20 years ago with his groundbreaking debut album “Illmatic,” is going independent. The venerated rapper, 40, is launching Mass Appeal Records, an independent record label, which, in addition to shepherding a new generation of hip-hop hopefuls, will also provide an outlet for new Nas music when his contract with Def Jam expires later this year. “I’m excited to be a part of creating and supporting future careers and legacy artists, promoting love and finding new genius to help the world,” Nas said in an email. “I’m going to be as involved as I need to be, but I also want to be respectful of the art and give artists the space they need to grow and become themselves.”
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Look for Mass Appeal records to release, “Lost Tapes 2,” and a posthumous album from Pimp C.