Royce Da 5’9”: “I met Kanye in Miami when I was at a club. This was before he blew up. I don’t remember what year exactly, but it had to be a long time ago. Definitely before The Blueprint came out. I was in the VIP and the security guard didn’t know who he was. He sees me and was like, ‘Royce, it’s Kanye.’ I was like, ‘Oh shit!’ [I knew him because] I was a fan of him even from like the Da Brat album. The [albums] he kept popping up on [with beats], he was giving people monsters.
“So we were both in the VIP talking. We ended up hanging out the whole time I was in Miami for that full weekend. Once we both went back to the crib, we got on the phone a couple times and he mailed me a beat CD. That ‘Heartbeat’ beat got to me so I I laid the vocals in Detroit and that was pretty much it.
“I remember talking to him about pricing for the beats and he said it was $15,000 [for the beat]. So that was like definitely about 85 zillion years ago. If Kanye was talking $15,000 anything, then it had to be a long time ago.
“The song ended up getting leaked. This was before I was Internet-savvy, back then I didn’t even know how to operate a computer. I had the song and I don’t know who leaked it, I’m thinking it was someone over at Game Records that had a copy of it.
“Once it leaked out, I think at that moment I was on Sony and my budget wasn’t active anymore so I couldn’t pay him for it. I think he had given the beat to Jin who was gonna buy it. But when it leaked, Jin didn’t want to buy anymore. So it was like, ‘Oh man, Royce leaked the beat.’
“People were asking me questions about it but it’s stuff we all look back and laugh at. I’m pretty sure no one is tripping over that no more. I haven’t spoken to Kanye since then, but I’m sure we’ll bump into each other. Everything that he’s accomplished from then to now, I’m pretty sure he knows I didn’t leak it. I didn’t even know how to leak a song back then.”