Just Blaze’s ‘U Don’t Know’ Beat Almost Went To Busta Rhymes


On the newest episode of the Thought Era podcast, superproducer (and Uproxx’s friend of the site) Just Blaze delves into his spectacular musical resume, from crafting the so-called Roc-A-Fella sound within the early 2000s to turning into one of many largest hitmakers of the previous 20 years. Among the many tales he shares with host Noah Callahan-Bever is the reason of simply how Jay-Z ended up with one of many extra recognizable songs from his game-changing 2001 album The Blueprint. It’s a narrative he’s instructed earlier than, nevertheless it by no means will get previous.

“‘U Don’t Know’” was at one level going to be Busta [Rhymes] and Prodigy,” Simply says. “Lots of people don’t know, me and P used to hang around loads. I nonetheless don’t have a whole lot of rap buddies, proper? He was one of many few individuals truly to come back to the home. It was wild as a result of then [The Alchemist] ended up transferring across the nook from me.”

After that little bit of scene setting, Simply defined why the tune ended up with the house crew as a substitute of one of many different two rappers, who have been — on the time — thought of greater stars. “Prodigy hears ‘U Don’t Know,’” he recollects, “Then Busta [Rhymes] hears ‘U Don’t Know.’ Yo, the worst factor ever was figuring out that I’ve Jay prepared for me however Busta’s doing this Busta Rhymes [style] on the ‘U Don’t Know’ beat. I’m like, ‘Yo, that is actual dope.’ I’m torn. I’m a child on the time, and I’m torn.”

Luckily for Justin, he didn’t have to decide on. “Fortunately, Busta didn’t report to it,” he exults. “I’m going again to Soundtrack [Studios], the place Mobb Deep was recording. Prodigy hears the beat; I play it off of a cassette. He begins rhyming to it. Some drama ended up taking place; he needed to go away. I’m going across the nook [to Baseline Studios]. I play it for Jay. [This is] all in that very same weekend. Then, impulsively, Jay was like, ‘Yo, lay that proper now.’”

The remaining is, as they are saying, historical past. “U Don’t Know,” which was by no means launched as a single, has change into some of the enduring songs in Jay’s catalog; it’s a membership staple whose lyrics followers have debated for 20 years (that’s, till Jay cleared it up himself final 12 months). You possibly can try the complete interview above.

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