Faith Newman (now Faith Newman-Orbach) was an A&R rep for Sony Music in the mid-90’s and helped Nas land his first music deal with Columbia Records — a branch of Sony Music Entertainment Inc. In an interview with MC Serch — executive producer of Illmatic along with Faith — he recalls how Faith was able to get Nas signed:
Nas was in a position where his demo had been sittin' around, “Live At The BBQ” was already a classic, and he was just tryin' to find a decent deal. And I think Nas didn’t know who to trust, and it seemed that no one was teaching him the ropes. So when he gave me his demo, I shopped it around. I took it to Russell [Simmons] first, Russell said it sounded like G Rap, he wasn’t wit' it. So I took it to Faith . Faith loved it, she said she’d been looking for Nas for a year and a half. They wouldn’t let me leave the office without a deal on the table.
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