A legend in the game, MC Serch is selling his rights to legendary albums including “Illmatic” and “it Was Written”
To this day, Nas remains one of the most iconic and skilled rappers in the game. As he continues to build his catalog out with an acclaimed albums like his King’s Disease series with Hit-Boy and Magic, the sheer value of his most celebrated album has never been questioned.
Fans have even gotten closer to the process of bringing that discography to life, as the New York rapper has released a mini-documentary with the Wu-Tang Clan about their tour together. MC Serch, the legendary member of hip-hop pioneers 3rd Bass, had owned a chunk of the rights to that catalog, but he has now announced that he will be selling his portion of the rights to Nas’s discography.
Serch’s piece of the pie includes legendary albums that he executive-produced like It Was Written and Illmatic, which is arguably the quintessential hip-hop record. It’s one of the only rap albums preserved in the Library of Congress, has been taught as course material at some of the world’s most prestigious universities, and holds some of his most classic hits like “The World Is Yours” and “It Ain’t Hard To Tell.”
“I have decided to sell all of the rights, including the global rights,” MC Serch told AllHipHop. “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.”
Nas’s ironclad credibility as a rapper isn’t solely owed to his skill, but also to his sales. It Was Written was certified triple-platinum in 2021 and is his highest-selling album to date, and it also gave Nas his first Billboard #1: “If I Ruled The World (Imagine That)” featuring Lauryn Hill. The album was expanded for its 25th anniversary last year.
The 3rd Bass rapper has held the executive producer rights to both albums for almost three decades as part of his companies Serchlite Publishing and Serchlite Music, which is now called 4MC MultiMedia. While he hasn’t made a sale yet, it’s very likely that there’s a rat race unfolding for rights that include two of hip-hop’s crown jewels.
Who did MC Serch discover?
Michael Berrin, best known by his stage name MC Serch, is an American rapper and music executive. He is a former member of 3rd Bass and Non-Phixion.
Serch’s real name is Michael Berrin. The 55-year-old best known by his stage name MC Serch, is an American rapper and music executive. He is a former member of 3rd Bass and Non-Phixion.
A look at Serch’s background mentioned in a press release:
Serch was born and raised in Far Rockaway, Queens, New York, in an orthodox Jewish neighborhood. While devoted to his religion, he was heavily influenced by the beginnings of hip-hop culture he discovered when hanging out with friends who lived in the nearby Redfern Housing projects.
He straddled two worlds learning about family, sacrifice, and home in Far Rockaway and survival, hardship, love, community, and strength in Redfern. After graduating from New York’s The High School of Music & Art, he immersed himself in hip-hop and became one of the first white rappers, first as part of the group 3rd Bass and then as a solo artist.
He recorded three albums with 3rd Bass – The Cactus Album (1989), The Cactus Revisited (1990), and Derelicts of Dialect (1991) – and had two hit singles on his solo effort Return of the Product in 1992.
After retiring from performing to focus on his family (wife of more than 20 years, Chantel, and three kids), Serch also cultivated new talent. He discovered Nas and executive produced the rapper’s first two critically acclaimed albums Illmatic and It Was Written.
He executive produced several other projects for artists, including OC, Non-Phixion, and Boss. The song that he wrote and produced for Boss was recently featured in online promotion for the Nextflix original series, “Orange is the New Black.” He wrote several songs for the film “Bebe’s Kids” and served as both consultant and soundtrack executive producer for the film “Zebrahead.” Serch was also a featured performer in the Spike Lee film, “Bamboozled.”
In 2003, Serch and his family moved to Detroit, where he became the first non-African-American DJ at the urban radio station WJLB/FM 98 since Casey Kasem in the mid-1950s. He hosted “Serch in the AM” and helped catapult the station to #1 in the market for the first time in 12 years. In 2007, he hosted VH1’s “The (White) Rapper Show,” which was followed up by “Miss Rap Supreme” in 2009.
Since retiring from performing, Serch has run a promotions company (Serchlite Music).