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

Jay-Z “The Dynasty Intro” (2000)

Album: The Dynasty

Label: Roc-A-Fella, Def Jam

Just Blaze: “Once I got a little attention off of doing the Ma$e thing, I was like, ‘I’ll follow it up with something else.’ I had already worked with Big Pun, Killa Preist, Ma$e, Tragedy Khadafi, and I was working with a lot of talented lower-level artists.That grind eventually landed me a really big meeting with Universal Records, which led to me getting connected with Roc-A-Fella.

“From there, the game changed all over again. That was definitely the next big stepping stone, but I still wasn’t in the studio with [Jay-Z]. It took about a year before Jay took notice and started paying attention. Once we did get in the studio, it was like Batman and Robin.

That intro is probably the meanest beat on [The Dynasty]. The fact that I did it and that it was the first thing you heard when you put the CD in, it set the tone perfectly for that album.

 
That singing in the sample wasn’t supposed to be playing every four bars. On top of that, there are two different samples playing that sound very similar, they were supposed alternate. Instead, because the two similar audio signals are playing in tandem, it has a flanging sound... It was a huge mistake.
 

“Duro, who’s a good friend of mine, mixed that record. Guru used to record everything and Duro used to mix the majority of the records. Now Guru pretty much does both. That was one of the first records of my career and it bothered me for years that I wasn’t present at the mix for it. It’s one of the only Jay records where I wasn’t involved in the mix.

“I didn’t get to hear the final mix before it went to mastering. So there were two separate loops that were playing at the same time and weren’t supposed to be, but Duro didn’t know that. There was no time to do anything about it.

“That singing in the sample wasn’t supposed to be playing every four bars. On top of that, there are two different samples playing that sound very similar, they were supposed alternate. Instead, because the two similar audio signals are playing in tandem, it has a flanging sound. It makes it sound like you’re listening to an airplane or something.

“It was a huge mistake but would I change it now if I could? I don’t know. I would probably want to find a way to fix that but I’ve heard so many times that people love it the way it is. The record has become a classic intro. A lot of people argue that it’s one of the best intros ever. When the people have spoken, sometimes you can’t mess with that. You’ve got to let it be what it is.”

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