Nasir "Nas" Jones has been on an upswing after dropping his chart-topping 11th studio LP, Life Is Good, last year. After making a few business moves here and there, the Queensbridge veteran has invested in Hip-Hop publication Mass Appeal, and will serve as an associate publisher.
FORBES' resident Hip-Hop business expert Zack O'Malley Greenburg caught up with Nas to discuss his latest venture and sparkling new title. Nasty Nas said that his respect of Mass Appeal's cultural contributions aided his decision to invest in the publication.
“I always liked what they represented,” said Nas. “They invested into the culture. saw their vision for what they planned and I thought I could add value across the board.”
Nas will join the publication's staff as an associate publisher, this after investing an unnamed six-figure sum according to the report. Although he hoped to launch a publication and brand like Jay-Z's Life + Times model, Nas felt it was better move to go with an existing property.
"Mass Appeal has a legacy and respect,” he adds. “It already has a foundation. I just feel like I can add on because I can lend my kind of cultural expertise and my professional acumen, and develop the business.”
Like Magic Johnson, who Nas credits as an inspiration, the rapper is partnering with investment firm White Owl Capital Partners. The firm holds interests in North America, China and Europe in the fields of tech, energy and media.
Nas also states that as a publisher and co-owner, he won't ask the publication to sway opinion in his favor. How's that for integrity?
Mass Appeal got its start in 1996 as a graffiti magazine. It is now a quarterly print publication and website devoted to music, fashion and art.
Photo: Mass Appeal