Swizz Beatz Tells All: The Stories Behind His Classic Records (Part 1)

Jay-Z “Jigga My Nigga” (1999)

Album: Ryde Or Die, Vol. 1

Label: Ruff, Ryders, Interscope

Mr. Porter: “I did that at Sony Studios working on the compilation. Once again, I remember following the pattern. I sent Jay-Z the beat and he and Dame Dash called saying, ‘Yo, this is crazy!’ I came up with the hook where they say ‘Jigga.’ I had Eve and another person I can’t remember saying ‘Jigga.’ People don’t know that’s Eve doing that hook. I told Jay, ‘The track’s called ‘Jigga.’’ And he destroyed it.

“Roc-A-Fella had their crew and we had our crew. So I was creating on my own and Jay was doing his stuff on his own like he does today. That’s how we worked. More recently though, [me and Jay have] been together in the studio.

 
I had Eve and another person I can’t remember saying ‘Jigga.’ People don’t know that’s Eve doing that hook.
 

“There was definitely competition between the Roc and Ruff Ryders back then. It was a hard place for me because I would play the beats for everybody and people would act like they didn’t hear everything and then get upset when I would give it to someone else and it turned into a big hit.

“Like ‘Bring ‘Em Out,’ that was for Beanie Sigel but he didn’t want it. So I gave it to T.I. ‘Fancy’ was for Mary J. Blige. ‘Touch It’ was for Eve but it went to Busta. There’s over 500 songs in my catalog and probably half were meant for someone else.

“I’ve always been in the middle. I never had problems with either one. When the Roc and Ruff Ryders started beefing I was like, ‘Here we go...Y’all fucking up my money.’ Jay would probably want a beat from me and would be like, ‘I’m not really messing with them over there, so I’m not messing with Swizz either.’

 
When the Roc and Ruff Ryders started beefing I was like, ‘Here we go...Y’all fucking up my money.’
 

“Then my people would be like, ‘We’re not really messing with them.’ Any of the time I wasn’t working with Jay it stemmed from that beef.

“It was never said or brought up but you could feel it. It was like, ‘You know we’re beefing. Why would you give them that track like that? There was all this, ‘I know they beefing’ feeling. I would hit Jay and Jay would not hit me back. But I didn’t have anything to do with the beef.

“It was rap beef, not street beef. If it was street beef, then I could understand it. I know the difference between beef in the streets and lyrical disputes. This was lyrical disputes. I was like, ‘Y’all stay lyrical. I don’t make diss beats about anyone. Just let me do my craft.’”

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