M.C. Serch Details How He Landed Nas 50 Percent Of The Publishing On Jay-Z's 'Dead Presidents'
Photo Credit: Shareif Ziyadat / Gabe Ginsberg

M.C. Serch Details How He Landed Nas 50 Percent Of The Publishing On Jay-Z's 'Dead Presidents'

This may be the plot twist of all plot twists!

M.C. Serch is breaking down the ins and outs of music publishing by recalling a deal in which he landed Nas an ownership stake in Jay-Z’s debut album.

Selling His Ownership Rights

As previously reported by AfroTech, M.C. Serch opened up about selling his ownership stake in Nas’ music catalog, which includes “Illmatic,” and the New York legend’s sophomore album “It Was Written.”

M.C. Serch served as the executive producer for both projects.

“I have decided to sell all of the rights, including the global rights,” said M.C. Serch at the time of the decision. “I started conversations with several companies a few months ago. For 27 years, it has provided my family through good times and bad. Now it’s time for a new chapter.”

Securing The Bag For Nas

During a recent interview with Math Hoffa, M.C. Serch further explained his ownership within the Queens native’s music portfolio.

Does M.C. Serch Own Nas' Catalog?

“Here’s the truth. I sold my share, which is two percent. I’m the executive producer of ‘Illmatic’ and ‘It Was Written.’ My share is two percent. I’m entitled to sell my share.”

Furthermore, he explains how he received Nas’ blessing ahead of the decision.

“I offered it back to Nas, but Nas gets it back in seven years anyway. So, he was like, ‘Oh, go get your money,’” he said during the interview.

Landing Nas' Ownership Rights On "Reasonable Doubt"

At one point during the conversation, M.C. Serch even recalled the time he helped Nas secure a deal that landed him partial ownership of Jay-Z’s publishing for “Reasonable Doubt.”

 

“I was the head of promotions, CHR promotions at Def Jam,” M.C. Serch explained. “We were about to put out ‘Reasonable Doubt’ and Bigs, Dame [Dash], and Jay came to me and they said, ‘Hey, we gotta clear the sample on ‘Dead Presidents’– ‘I’m out for presidents to represent me’ — off ‘Illmatic.’ So, I say, ‘Yeah, that’s not a problem, give me a check for $2,500 and I’ll clear it.'”

After taking a visit to Zomba Music Group, M.C. Serch landed Nas the deal by bargaining an offer that would allow him ownership rights over Jay-Z’s “Dead Presidents” track from his debut album.

“[I] went to Zomba and I said, ‘This is what we’re gonna take, but we’ll [also] take 50 percent of the publishing,” M.C. Serch recalled. “So, what I love to say is, while Jay likes to say that, Nas owns Jay’s publishing. Jay does not own Nas’ publishing.”

He added: “Any printing that says ‘Dead President,’ Nas owns 50 percent of that song.”