Steve Stoute Talks Jay-Z and Nas

Steve Stoute is speaking out on not only the ‘Tanning Of America’, but his ties to two of the biggest rappers in Hip-Hop; Jay-Z and Nas.

The former record executive turned head of Translation Consultation & Brand Imaging company recently sat down for an interview with Complex magazine and shared details like his first time meeting with Nas.

According to Stoute he was so “inspired” by Nas’ Illmatic album that he traveled to the Queensbridge projects to find him.

“I was so inspired by Illmatic. Nas had gotten nominated at the Source Awards for Best Lyricist or something like that after Illmatic. He’d gotten in some trouble and he showed up to the event and he wanted the record company to acknowledge his nomination and get him to the event, get him to perform, and support his whole Shyte.

I had to go to the Queensbridge projects and ask around for Nas. I had a beige Lexus and I was just driving around just cold asking people. Some other projects had beef with Nas or his guys so when I pulled up on Jungle [and his boys], they pulled out guns on me!”


Complex also talked with the author/mogul about his previous ventures with Jay-Z including his plans to help Hov release a jeep and a patent a color called “Jay-Z Blue” for GM’s Yukon Denali.

Complex: In the book, Empire State of Mind, author Zack O’Malley Greenburg wrote about you and Jay-Z doing the Jay-Z Blue. At the time, it looked there were going to be a lot of products in Jay-Z Blue but it quieted down. What was the whole thing with Jay-Z Blue, the color?

Stoute: Everything in Zach O’Malley Greenburg’s book, Empire State of Mind, is not accurate. I told him that. He got close on a lot of stuff, but it was not 100% accurate. Not at all.Jay-Z Blue was a brilliant concept that we went through a lot of hurdles to get to be a Pantone color chip. And it was one of those things that we started that we didn’t finish when we should have, but we’re working on finishing now. That’s the answer.

Complex: Was there a reason why it got off track?

Stoute: So many opportunities to capture, maybe? There were so many things going on at the time, that we couldn’t necessarily get it all done.

Complex: So that’s still in the works?

Stoute: Yes sir.

Complex: And another thing that seemed to be in the works was the Jay-Z Jeep. What happened to the Jeep deal?

Jay-Z: The Jay-Z Jeep deal was a part of the Jay-Z Blue deal. In fact, the story’s right over there if you want to look at it. If you want to read it, I had it framed. We showed the car at the Detroit auto show. Everything in Zach’s book is not accurate. I told him that, by the way. He got close on a lot of stuff, but it was not 100% accurate. Not at all.”


Stoute’s book ‘The Tanning Of America’ is currently in stores.

For his complete Complex interview click here.

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