Just Blaze Tells All: The Stories Behind His Classic Records (Part 1)

Jay-Z “Song Cry” (2001)

Album: The Blueprint

Label: Roc-A-Fella, Def Jam

Just Blaze: “‘Song Cry’ is probably the most complex song on there. Originally when I did it, I had straight drums and that singing sample all the way through. I literally had 96 sample traps in that beat. If you listen to it, it sounds seamless. It sounds like one long smooth thing but that’s literally 96 sample chops all being triggered in that beat.

 
Jay-Z called me and told me ‘Right now you’re the best producer around.’ Then he called Timbaland and said, ‘Yo, you cool but Just Blaze is the best.’
 

“When Jay did his verse all the way through, I went back and did the whole beat over. When he heard it, he called me and told me ‘Yo, you’re the best. I want you to know that. Right now you’re the best producer around. Nobody can take that from you and I’m glad you stuck around.’ Then he called Timbaland and said, ‘Yo, you cool but Just Blaze is the best.’

“He was so floored when he heard the way I redid the song and made it so much bigger and more intricate. I made it into an actual record. You would really have to hear the demo version to see how different it became. The vocal lead is the same, but musically it was a much more raw experience.

“When I was making that beat, two different girls from Def Jam walked in and was like, ‘Oh I like this,’ and the song wasn’t even done yet. That’s when you know you’ve got something. Girls generally don’t walk in looking for beats like that. One day if I can dig up the demo version though, I’ll let it out.”

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