Jay-Z f/ Memphis Bleek "Coming Of Age" (1996)

Album: Reasonable Doubt

Label: Roc-A-Fella/Priority

DJ Clark Kent: “Jay knew Memphis Bleek as a little dude in the projects, but he didn’t know he was a rhymer. Jay had this song all ready, and now he’s looking for the rhymer to go on it. It was going to be Lil’ Shyheim, that’s who he was going to get.

"Then someone told Bee-High and Jay that this little dude Malik—the name Bleek came from Malik—was spittin’. He was little, but we wanted to hear him because we wanted someone to be on this song.

 

Bleek did it for cheeseburgers. He ate like twelve $1 cheeseburgers from Wendy's. We were in my house, and he just keeps eating these cheeseburgers. We're like, 'Where are you putting them? You're like a buck o' five.'

 

“So me and Bee-High sat with him in the projects and made him rhyme all day like, ‘Keep going, keep going, keep going, keep going, say another one, say another one.’ We wanted to believe he was actually and MC before we were like, “Here’s this song, get on it.’

“Jay had the whole song laid out already of how he wanted it to be, and told him what he was supposed to do. Jay [referenced the verse already], so he just had to do it. It’s just that he did it so perfectly.

“It’s like he did it for cheeseburgers. He ate like twelve $1 cheeseburgers from Wendy’s. We were in my house, and he just keeps eating these cheeseburgers. We’re like, ‘Where you putting them? You’re like a buck o’ five.’

“He was [excited to be on the song], but once it was done, it’s like ‘You’re here now.’ You’re with us, you’re in it, you’re a part of it. Before the album came out, we were performing the shit. We took him everywhere. ‘Do these shows.’ ‘Why?’ ‘Because you gotta do this song.’ And his parents were like, ‘Only if he’s with you.’ We had to take care of him. [But he was never reckless], he just wanted to do it.

“I’m pretty sure [Jay was very happy with the outcome of the song.] He’s a very calculated dude. That was his best album.”