Album: The Reason
Label: Roc-A-Fella, Def Jam
Just Blaze: “I’m sure beat nerds will know what I’m talking about, but that drum pattern is actually a derivative of the Barry White record that they used in ‘All About The Benjamins.’ It was Love Unlimited ‘I Did It For Love.’ I didn’t make that beat with the intention of it becoming a song, let alone his first single.
“I was messing around with that drum pattern, and I never intended for it to go anywhere. ‘All About The Benjamins’ is obviously a classic hip-hop record. I was just in a room playing some keys on it. I practically lived at Baseline, so it wasn’t like every record that happened had the intention of going to somebody.
“I work in the same way that a writer might sit there and write down ideas in his house just to see what happens, or an artist might start with random lines, shapes and drawings not necessarily intending for it to be an actual painting or picture. A writer might not intend for it to turn into a book, or a songwriter might jot down melodies not necessarily intending for it to be a song. It’s just second nature. It’s what we do.
“Hip Hop, who was A&R’ing Beanie’s album, came in and heard it and remembered that Timbaland had a record that he wanted to give to Beans with that hook. Timbaland was on the hook, and Beans liked the idea for the hook but he didn’t like the beat that Tim did.
“So Hip just hit him like, ‘Yo, can we get that hook?’ I don’t remember if he sent the beat to Tim and he sang it, or if Tim sent the files of him singing and we fit it to the beat. I think it was the former, which is interesting because we kind of took his hook. I mean, we didn’t take it with any ill intentions. He obviously had to sing it over, so I guess he was cool with it. I never expected that.
“It’s funny because, I forget that people really like that record. When I DJ I never play it, but I was playing a set in D.C. this past weekend and I said, ‘Ah, let me just see what happens.’ I was playing a set of my old records and people went nuts.
“I forget because, when that record came out I was so in the hole. I mean I was in the hole of Bassline, not really going out anywhere. I was a studio hermit so a lot of times I would have records out that were rocking and I had no idea that they were getting played in the clubs, or on the radio, or that they were in heavy rotation. I was a robot just doing what I had to do.