On the most recent episode of Revolt’s Drink Champs, N.O.R.E. and DJ EFN chopped it up with white rapper pioneer MC Serch, founder of rap trio 3rd Bass and Serchlight Publishing, the company name dropped in Jay-Z’s Nas diss “Takeover”.
With Serch being a living legend in the rap game, there were many historic Hip Hop moments touched on in the interview, including him attending high school with Dana Dane and Slick Rick, his relationship with Eminem and him signing Hip Hop’s second coming of Rakim known as Nasir Jones.
When Jigga sampled Nas’ “The World Is Yours” on his 1996 hit “Dead Presidents”, he insinuated on “Takeover” that he paid MC Serch and Serchlight Publishing for using the sample, thus, Nas receiving no compensation for use of his own voice. Serch says that’s merely rap rumor and if anything, Nas owns a piece of Jay’s catalogue.
“The true story about that that’s really crazy [is] I’m the head of CHR at Def Jam and they’re about to put out Reasonable Doubt,” Serch says. “And it was either Kareem, Dame and JAY — or Dame and JAY — [they] come to my office and say, ‘Hey, you gotta clear this ‘Dead Presidents’ sample.’ I said, ‘OK, no problem, just give me $2,500. But, just know we’re gonna have 25% of your record on the publishing’ and he was like, ‘Alright, cool,’ and that was it. He gave me a check for $2,500. I delivered it to Zomba. But, if you look at the liner notes on ‘Dead Presidents,’ Nas is one of the publishers. So, I said yeah, that line can live as much as it lives, but JAY don’t own a piece of Nas’ catalogue, but Nas owns a piece of JAY’s catalogue. And that’s a fact, though.”