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Nas Changes Controversial Album Title

May 19, 2008 2:42 PM ET

Earlier today, a rep at Def Jam said Nas had changed the title of his new album from the controversial Nigger to the much simpler and less incendiary Nas. Now MTV News is reporting that Nas has decided to release the album untitled. "It's important to me that this album gets to the fans," Nas reportedly said in a statement. "It's been a long time coming. I want my fans to know that creatively and lyrically, they can expect the same content and the same messages. It's that important. The streets have been waiting for this for a long time. The people will always know what the real title of this album is and what to call it." Late last year, Def Jam chairman L.A. Reid said he would "stand firmly behind" the title, which at one point was Nigga, but an "eleventh-hour decision" by Nas resulted in the change. Nas told MTV last week, "Everybody is trying to stop the title. ... Record stores are gonna have a problem in this day and time selling a record with that title. Who knows what's gonna turn out and be on that title?" The album is still due out July 1st.

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Song Stories

“Nightshift”

The Commodores | 1984

The year after soul legends Marvin Gaye and Jackie Wilson died, songwriter Dennis Lambert asked members of the Commodores to give him a tape of ideas. "And the one from Walter Orange has this wonderful bass line," said co-writer Franne Golde. "Plus the lyric, 'Marvin, he was a friend of mine' ... Within 10 minutes, we had decided it should be something like a modern R&B version of 'Rock 'n' Roll Heaven,' and I just said, 'Nightshift.'" This tribute to the recently deceased musicians was the band's only hit without Lionel Richie, who had left for a solo career.

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