Why is Nas being sued for a picture with Tupac? Hip-hop photographer files lawsuit against rapper over Instagram upload

Nas has been sued for re-uploading a photo on Instagram (Image via Paras Griffin/Getty Images)
Nas has been sued for re-uploading a photo on Instagram (Image via Paras Griffin/Getty Images)

A photo of Nas and 2Pac taken in 1993 has led to some legal trouble for the rapper. Radar reported that photographer Al Pereira has filed a lawsuit against the singer stating that he shared the picture without seeking permission or licensing the work.

The court documents mention that the artist re-uploaded the picture on his Instagram account in 2020, three years after Pereira registered its copyright.

Pereira would file a lawsuit in February and according to him, the photo’s value diminished after the songwriter shared it on Instagram. Pereira is suing for damages alongside an injunction against the I Am singer for using his work.

This is not Al’s first lawsuit related to his work. He had previously sued Kylie and Kendall Jenner in 2017 for unlawful use of the photographs he took of Pac and The Notorious B.I.G. The Jenners tried to use the pictures as part of a clothing line.


Reasons behind the lawsuit against Nas

Photographer Al Pereira filed a lawsuit against the legendary rapper for sharing Pereira’s photo of him, Pac, and Redman outside Club Amazon in 1993 without permission or appropriate licensing.

Nas shared a picture featuring him and 2Pac and it was clicked by Al Pereira (Image via Naomi Rahim/Getty Images)
Nas shared a picture featuring him and 2Pac and it was clicked by Al Pereira (Image via Naomi Rahim/Getty Images)

According to court documents, the 48-year-old shared the picture on Instagram in 2020, three years after Pereira registered the photo’s copyright.

While speaking to Culture Crash, Vikki Tobak recalled a time when she found a picture of a young Nas, Pac, and Redman alongside The Notorious B.I.G. She said,

“We uncovered an Al Pereira photo that’s a very infamous photo of Biggie, Redman and Tupac together. And also on that contact sheet, when we were going through it, there was a strip of images of Tupac and Nas. It was already funny, when Al tells the story of some “big guy” trying to get into his photo of Tupac and Redman, and that it turned out to be Biggie Smalls himself before he was signed.”
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Tobak added that Tupac never clicked a photo with the hip-hop artist. When Al captured it, the Hip Hop Is Dead singer was not famous and his first album did not come out until 1994. She further explained,

“And Al, being the kind of photographer that he is, was like ‘I’m going to get the photos of the people that I can sell to magazines, and that is Tupac and Biggie.’ So that photo, when we uncovered it, it meant a lot to Nas, because it also had one of his closest friends, who ended up passing away a few years after the photo was taken, in the photo with him.”
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The New York City native has been making headlines over the last few years due to courting numerous controversies. It remains to be seen how Pereira’s lawsuit would affect his career and image in front of the public.

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Edited by Srijan Sen
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