As we reported yesterday, Shakir Stewart was appointed to the top post at Def Jam Recordings. Stewart says he's not a Jay-Z replacement, “I was appointed as the Executive Vice President of Def Jam and what we put out was simply that,” he said. “I don’t look at it as replacement to Jay-Z. I think Jay-Z is, obviously, an iconic rapper, a good label president, and a good friend of mine. These are big shoes to fill for anyone to come in and say they’re replacing Jay-Z. I don’t lend any thought or attention to that."
Stewart went on to defend Nas’ recent album title switch from the controversial name Nigger to now being untitled. “The message of the album has not changed,” he said. “And I think that Nas has done an incredible job of speaking to the public through various forms, letting people know what the theme of this album is. Whether or not you see any letters on or off an album cover, does not dictate the substance in the music that your hear once you press play on that CD or iPod. And I think that Nas is taking his time and he’s crafted a masterpiece. I think that people will get two things out of it: they’ll be entertained and they’ll be educated."
“I think there’s been so much talk about the title and this and that, it’s whatever with the title,” Stewart finished. “Let’s get into what his message is. And I think when people do that and really embrace that concept, I think that they’ll be pleased.”