Welcome to Def Jam
Written by: 0-T on January 23rd, 2006
[ After joining Jay-Z on stage, and becoming a free agent in the music industry, Nas finally decides to sign to Def Jam for his next few releases. This afternoon, he shows up to Jigga's board room to finalize the deal, and discuss his future at the label. ]
Jay: Welcome, welcome.. come on in Nas.
Nas: What up big homie. Word.
(( Nas gives Jay a firm dap, accompanied by a hug. Despite both men being in their thirties, and discussing a corporate deal worth millions, the two interact on a level most familiar to them both. The older, Jewish lawyers surround the two rappers in an awkward silence, unsure as to whether or not to offer a regular handshake or a "hood greeting." Jay spares them the uncomfortable choice, and brings everyone to the table. ))
Jay: How you doin man?
Nas: I'm good man, I'm good. I been real busy all weekend, so I haven't got much sleep. Word. But I can't lie, I'm excited about this man. Real excited. Word.
Jay: We feel the same way, Nas. You're a legend and we're happy to have you on board here at Def Jam.
Nas: I appreciate that Jay.
Jay: It's Mr. Carter while we're in here.
Nas: *chuckles* Aw man, you silly.
Jay: *stern camel faced expression*
Nas: .......Word. so, what's on the agenda for today?
Jay: Today we're basically just gonna discuss your future here at Def Jam, and your new direction as an artist. I want you to feel as comfortable as possible.
Nas: Thanks. I gotta say... I was real worried about signin to Def Jam.. with, you know.. you being boss and all.
Jay: I feel the same. But we grown, ya know? We gotta move past the past, and do what's best for business.
Nas: Word. I feel that, my nigga. Word.
Jay: Don't think of me as your boss. Think of me as your friend who controls your career and writes your checks.
Nas: Word. Speakin of checks, when will I be seeing the first one?
(( The Jew layers all enter huddle and whisper amongst themselves. Jay joins the huddle, and Nas can only make out bits and pieces of what's being said. ))
Jay: *mumble mumble Ether mumble mumble*
Nas: Uh... Jay, I need--
Jay: Nas, with all due respect, I'm your boss now. I'd really appreciate it if you refer to me as Mr. Carter, or Sir.
Nas: Nigga, is you serious?
"Nigga he dead serious!" a voice cries from the hallway.
Jay: Bleek, are you finished with the carpet?
Bleek: No, J-- Mr. Carter.
Jay: If I can hear you, that means the vacuum ain't turned all the way up, right?
Bleek: *turns up the vacuum* Sorry Sir!
Bleek: SORRY SIR!
Bleek: SOOORRRYY SIIR!!
Jay: I can't hear you.
Bleek: MY BAD, LET ME TURN DOWN THE VACUUM. *Bleek lowers the vacuum power* SORRY SIR!
Jay: Sorry for what?
Bleek: SORRY FOR TALKING WHEN I SHOULD HAVE BEEN VACUUMING!
Jay: Bleek, why are you shouting?
Bleek: I HAD THE VACUUM UP CAUSE YOU TOLD ME TO VACUUM LOUDER AND NOT TALK!
Jay: Then why are you still talking?
Bleek: *turns the vacuum back up* I'M SORRY SIR.
Bleek: I SAID I'M SORRY!
Bleek: *turns the vacuum down* I SAID I'M SORRY!
Jay: Sorry for what?
(( Nas leans over towards one of Jay's lawyers, to ask how long this will go on for. When he notices him playing a PSP role playing game with headphones on, he doesn't even bother finishing his question. Disappointed, Nas releases a heavy sigh and leans back in his chair. He begins to look around the office, tuning out the sounds of Jigga and Bleek, drifting deep into thought. ))
Man, this is a nice office. Nigga got so many plaques man... I didn't even know he did that many albums son. Word. Shit is crazy. That whole wall is a mirror, on some Enter the Dragon type shit... word. I'm really happy for dude. Damn I bet Beyonce pussy is good... .....real clean and shit. Yeah.... word.
Jay: Aight, where were we? Yes, your new direction here at Def--
Nas: Actually, we were discussing my first check. Do you wanna write it out to my--
Jay: Nas, Nas...relax. We'll get to the money soon, I promise. Let's focus on the music right now.
Nas: ........aight, word.
Jay: Now I've been a fan of your music since Illmatic, and--
Nas: I know.
Nas: I mean, thanks.
Jay: ..........anyway, what really sticks out to me on all your albums is.. you don't do many adlibs.
Nas: Yeah, I guess not. I just feel like the rhymes speak for theyself. Like when I write, I try to--
Jay: Yeah that's interesting. What I was thinking though is we could get Young Jeezy on a song or two... no rhymes, no pressure.. just for some adlib support.
Nas: Word? You want... Young Jeezy to do adlibs on my album?
(( All of the lawyers laugh in unison, as if this is only the 100th time they've heard that. ))
Nas: I don't know if I can go through with all this man. I mean the deal's not even final yet and you tryin to make all these changes.
Jay: Changes? No, no.. everything will be exactly the same. I'm just making some minor suggestions for improvement, that's all. We're signing Nas because we want Nas. I wouldn't sign you just to make you something you're not. Don't worry.
Jay: That's the next thing on the agenda. Your slang, your accent, it's a lil bit outdated. Instead of "word," try saying "I hea dat dere mayne."
Jay: It's the same as "word," but with a lil' Southern twist into it.
Nas: I dunno, that's not really me man.
Nas: You buggin out son.
Nas: Yo, this is wack. I'm out son. Word.
(( Nas stands up from the table, and two of the lawyers each grab a shoulder and sit him back down. ))
Jay: Not so fast maaayne.
Nas: *struggles with the two lawyers" Get off me man! Let the fuck go.
Jay: I'm afraid they can't do that... not until you sign the contract.
Nas: Yo man, fuck this. I knew I couldn't trust you. Word... word, I knew it.
Jay: Trust? Trust is an illusion, Nasir. A hope of what you think a person might do, based on the vague idea of what you think you know of them.
Nas: Nigga what the fuck is you talkin about?
Jay: You are going to sign that contract.
Nas: Son, word is bond. You can't make do shit I don't wanna do.
(( Jay-Z begins to laugh maniacally, to the point where light spit starts to fly onto the lawyer next him. ))
Jay: Nas, you FOOL... all year, I've been making you do things you didn't wanna do.
Nas: The fuck is you talkin about?
(( Jay gestures at the mirrored wall to the right of Nas. One of the mirrors on the wall opens, revealing a hidden door in the room. Dame Dash steps through the door laughing uncontrollably, followed by Kelis, Beyonce, Aaliyah, Cormega, and Terry Silver from Karate Kid III. ))
Nas: What. The. Fuck.
Dame: Sup Nas.
Kelis: Heeeeey Nas. How you doooooin? haha
Nas: Honey, what's goin on? Baby, talk to me.
Kelis: Kill the lights.
(( The lights dim. Despite there being no camp fire in the room, Jay-Z' face becomes illuminated from the bottom up, with flickering light. ))
Jay: Nas... 1,644 days and 8 hours ago, you released a track over a Rakim beat, disrespecting Roc-A-Fella Records. Do you remember?
Nas: Stillmatic freestyle?
Jay: And on that day, I swore to have my revenge. We faked Babygirl's death, and I didn't show up to the funeral, to start a fake rift between me and Dame.
Nas: *looks over at Aaliyah, still alive and breathing* Wooooord?
Jay: Gradually, we fooled the public into believing Dame and I weren't seeing eye to eye, making me free to go beyond the Roc-A-Fella empire. I am everyone and I am no one. Eventually I became President of Def Jam records, in time for your contract release from Columbia.
Terry Silver from Karate Kid III: Every moment of your life up to this point has been a well executed plan.
Cormega: I'm a real nigga. I'd take a bullet before snitchin, but for you, I made exceptions my nigga.
Nas: What about Kelis? *looks at his wife, hopefully and lovingly* Baby why are you here? Why didn't you warn me?!?
Terry Silver from Karate Kid III: She won't answer you.
Jay: Since the Fall of 2001, I've been sexually intimate with every woman you've ever met since high school. They're all under my control.
Jay: Do you remember a young, R&B singer from your "You Owe Me" video?
Beyonce: *aiming a gun at Nas* Remember me, nigga?
Jay: After I hit that, Dame thought it would be a good idea to set you up with an inferior R&B bitch, just to underline this moment. Shout out to Dame.
(( Jay and Dame both snap their fingers and point at each other. ))
Jay: I knew that if I could get you to respond to Takeover, I could reveal my past with Carmen to the world, and that'd crush you. Do you remember the night you heard "Super Ugly," Nas? Who did you meet?
(( Nas turns to Kelis in total disbelief ))
Jay: That's right. Uh... chea. P-Pause. Do you remember bumping into Kelis at the hotel, Nas? Coincidence? She comforted your bitch ass when the whole industry was laughing at your misfortune. She gave you head and your sucker for love ass fell for her.
Terry Silver from Karate Kid III: *in a mocking tone, he repeats everything Nas confessed to Kelis that night* I don't know why he hates me so much. I should have just been on Reasonable Doubt. *starts crying*
(( Jay, Dame, and Cormega bust into devilish laughter. ))
Cormega: I wrote that line on Affirmative Action about life being a bitch. Bitch.
Nas: Man how... How did you know I would even... how...
Jay: I know you better than anyone... even your own mother.
Terry Silver from Karate Kid III: We made sure of that, didn't we?
Nas: Did you-- did you have somethin to do with my mother's death?!?!?
Terry Silver from Karate Kid III: Death?
(( The table in the room sinks into the floor, leaving a giant hole. Salt water rises abruptly, and two shark fins become slightly visible in the hole. By this time, Anne Jones is lowered from the ceiling, bound in chains with tape over her mouth. She hangs suspended, directly above the shark tank. ))
Nas: Yo, mom! What the hell?! What the--
(( Nas is overwhelmed by the joy of seeing his mother alive, coupled with the simultaneous feeling of confusion and betrayal. ))
Nas: Man what the FUCK? Word.
Terry Silver from Karate Kid III: It's very simple, Nas. You can sign this sheet of paper, or watch two tiger sharks use your mother for a chew toy.
Jay: Be an adult for once.
Nas: You ugly mother fucker.
(( Jay and Dame start singing the theme song from Jaws. "Duh Deh... Duh Deh... Duh Deh..." A bead of sweat races down the side of Nas' face, as he frantically tries to come up with a way to rescue his mother. Within seconds, his eyes scan every inch of the room. With Beyonce a yard away from him, pistol drawn, and the exit blocked, Nas does the only thing he can... nothing. The veteran emcee opens his mouth and no words come out. He looks broken, lost, defeated. ))
Jay: So what's it gonna be, Nas?
(( Nas starts to move his lips without making a sound ))
(( Nas begins moving his lips even more rapidly, with more exaggerated hand movements... but remains silent. ))
Jay: Speak up nigga, I can't hear you.
Nas: *continues mumbling*
Nas: *continues mumbling, while moving his head*
Jay: WHAT DID YOU SAY?!?!
(Bleek busts open the boardroom door)
Bleek: I SAID I'M SORRY NIGGA, DAMN.
(( Nas uses Bleek as a distraction, punches Beyonce in the face, and grabs the gun. ))
Nas: *points gun at Jay-Z* Aight J-J. Close the shark tank and let my mom go.
Bleek: Nigga what the fuck goin on in here? Who the fuck want what?
(( Nas shoots Bleek in the heart, killing him instantly, and turns the gun back on Jay. ))
Nas: I'm not gonna repeat myself.
Jay: Look around you man. Even if you save your moms, you have no way out of this building. You have a gun pointed at me and I'm still in control of your life. Smarten up Nas.
Nas: Gettin out of here is my problem. Finding out your fat ass lips ain't bulletproof is yours. Let my mom dukes go. Word.
Jay: You can't win. Nas, you need to wake up.
Nas: You got til 3.
Jay: Nas... wake up.
Nas: 1... 2...
Jay: *slaps Nas in the face* Wake up, Nas... Nas, wake up. You were dreaming. Wake up.
(( Nas looks up, confused. The room light is back on. Vision blurred, his two fingers are pointed at Jay-Z in the shape of a gun. The table had returned to where he last remembered it, but there were droplets of water on the surface. ))
Nas: What's goin on? What happened to the table?
Jay: You knocked over your water. You were having a wild dream man.
Nas: Where's Aaliyah? Where's my mother?
(( Jay and all of the lawyers look at each other worryingly. Jay puts a knowing hand on Nas' shoulder. ))
Jay: Nas... Aaliyah and your mom passed. They left us years ago.
Nas: Man, I must be buggin.
Jay: You look exhausted man. Why don't we continue this meeting tomorrow after you get some sleep. You don't look so hot.
(( Jay escorts Nas to the front of the room, hand never leaving his shoulder. ))
Nas: Aight man.. sorry about that. It's just been a real long weekend. Word.
Jay: It's fine.. happens to me all the time. Get home safe man. You need me to call you a limo?
Nas: Nah, I'm good. Kelis is down there waitin for me.
Jay: Aight, take care.
(( Jay closes the door and Bleek's corpse slowly collapses in front of him. ))
Jay: Damn.... now who's gonna clean all this shit up?