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

Beanie Sigel f/ Jay-Z & Rell “Still Got Love For You” (2001)

Album: The Reason

Label: Roc-A-Fella, Def Jam

Just Blaze: “I always liked that Issac Hayes loop. It had been used a million times. Smiff & Wessun with Mary J Blidge, and then Biz ‘Make the Music,’ Tragedy Khadafi did with ‘Grand Groove Pt. II,’ I mean I could go on and on.”

“It’s one of my favorite breaks of all time, but I hadn’t had a chance to flip it. They wanted to do a sequel to ‘Where Have You Been’ on The Dynasty album. I was like, ‘I think I got something for that.’ I wasn’t really sure where it was going to end up, but I did it anyway.”

 
On a technical/geek side of things, historically whenever anyone has used that break they always use the first four bars. I wanted to use all eight bars of the entire piano solo on that record.
 

“That’s a classic break beat. Everybody who was around in the ‘80s remembers that break. So when they heard it, they were just like, ‘Oh, yeah!’ At Roc-A-Fella there was never a big plan. We were at the studio every day, so it was just like, ‘Let’s just go in and make some hot shit,’ that was the formula.”

“On a technical/geek side of things, historically whenever anyone has used that break they always use the first four bars. I wanted to use all eight bars of the entire piano solo on that record, which in this day and age with Ableton and other time-stretching software, is pretty easy.”

“Back then you didn’t have the same kind of technology, so with the way I had to program the MP I had to do constant tempo changes for the entire second set of four bars. The timing of the loop was all over the place.”

“Sometimes when you’re sampling a lot of records and looping things, you can only chop things up so much. If the original band is going off beat or if they speed up or slow down, you couldn’t just take it and stretch it the way you wanted to.”

“I kind of had to play the MP like a turntable, and make the MP tempo speed up and slow down in tandem with the inconsistencies of the original sample. So it took me all of two or three hours just to get that right. Once we got that going, it fell into place quickly.”

 
We had just put in a new speaker system in the basement of Baseline. It was a $60,000 sound system, custom designed, and Beans blew it. Beans blasted that beat so hard he blew them out the first night we got them.
 

“We had just put in a new speaker system in the basement of Baseline. It was a $60,000 sound system, custom designed, and Beans blew it. Beans blasted that beat so hard he blew them out the first night we got them. The whole thing about that system is that it wasn’t supposed to blow, so the company had to come back in and retooled it so it never happened again.”

“Beans was there all night and actually fell asleep. I don’t know how you do that. He fell asleep with it blasting, and that’s how the speakers blew. That was a crazy night. We had literally just unveiled that new wall of speakers, and they were dead 12 hours later.”

“After we got that rectified, I think it was Beans who came up with the idea to make it a follow-up to ‘Where Have You Been?’ That whole song happened within a day or two. Jay and Beans put down their verses, then Rell came and did the hook, I went in and played a live bass over it and that was it.”

“There’s certain break beats that I always identified with growing up or that I felt strongly about, so it was cool to have produced a track with that sample and have two of the best emcees rhyming on it. Although it’s been done a million times before, it was one of those things that you can cross off like your life checklist. It was like, ‘Aight, flipped that sample. Done.’”

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