Eminem: “I think that might have been one of the beats that Havoc sent for Recovery Somehow I got a CD of a couple more of his beats. I brought that one in one day, and we just started fucking with it. I think I laid the first verse and was like, ‘Yo!’ I think Royce was up in the studio or something and we started doing the record, and decided to trade off.”
Royce da 5’9”: “I remember you had an idea for a melodic hook, and in the hook, you wanted to say something about 'oxygen'. And that’s why I said something like, ‘Emcees, they want to breathe our air.’ Because I thought we were going to have a hook saying something about ‘oxygen.’”
Eminem: “Oh yeah. And then we decided, ‘Fuck that hook, that’s just wrong.’ [Laughs.] The back and forth started getting too fun.”
Royce da 5’9”: “No bars got counted.”
Eminem: “After it was done, I thought about it working as the intro. It might have been the next day or something, coming back we decided what we were going to do with it and I went and recorded the part about, ‘Welcome to the album.’”
Havoc: Being in involved with Eminem’s Recovery made it possible for me to be involved with the Bad Meets Evil. I’m always constantly hitting Em with tracks. I would say I sent him that beat a while ago. [Laughs.] Those were tracks that I sent trying to get on Relapse.
“Then—during the Jay-Z and Eminem concert—I was told that they were interested in a track that I had sent them. I told them that it was still available. They told me it wasn’t a definite, but Eminem was highly interested in the track. I didn’t really think too much of it because I didn’t wanna get my hopes up. Just as easy as it can make it, it can easily not make it.
“I made the beat in NYC in my crib. I’m always digging for samples, weird sounding things that people never used before. Things that might make you go, ‘What the fuck is that? That shit is wack,’ or, ‘That shit is dope.’ I just fuck with all ends of the spectrum when it comes to samples.
“I was fucking with some Gregorian chants because no one ever fucked with it. It sounds real eerie, hard, and dark, and it just stuck. I’ll be working on a lot of native instruments. It’s like when I sampled ‘It’s Mine’ from Scarface. I was like, ‘Why the fuck hasn’t anybody tried to sample that yet?’ Like, that’s a no-brainer.”