Terror Squad “Lean Back” (2004) / Terror Squad f/ Lil’ Jon, Eminem, & Mase “Lean Back (Remix)” (2005)

Producer: Scott Storch / Lil Jon

Album: True Story / All Or Nothing

Label: Terror Squad/SRC/Universal / Atlantic

Fat Joe: “I made the beat. Whenever I work with Scott Storch, I make the beats with him. He can make any sound with any instrument and play anything you want. You just gotta tell him what you want.

“I was like, ‘Think Belly, when they’re going in to The Tunnel to stick somebody up. I want some shit like that.’ And I started [making the sound that’s now on the intro of the song]. And by the time I did it the second time, he was playing it [exactly how I was humming it].

 

That’s the only beat I ever had for two months that I was scared to rap to because it was so incredible. I didn’t know if I was going to rap towards a girl or what. So I said, ‘You know what? I’m just gonna go in there and rip that shit down.’ So I went in there, and lyrically just spit the hard shit. ‘We from the Bronx, New York, shit happens.’

 

“Then I was like, ‘I want that shit to sound a little Arabian.’ Because that Arabian sound was the shit, with the ‘Move ya body like a snake, ma’ and all that. So he did it. And being that he was doing all that stuff for Dre at the time, he had it sounding a little West Coast-ish. And I’m like, ‘Yo Scott, we can’t sound West Coast. I’m from New York. So we flipped that beat.

“That’s the only beat I ever had for two months that I was scared to rap to because it was so incredible. I didn’t know if I was going to rap towards a girl or what. So I said, ‘You know what? I’m just gonna go in there and rip that shit down.’ So I went in there, and lyrically just spit the hard shit. ‘We from the Bronx, New York, shit happens.’

“And then with the hook, the Jamaican shit was out at the time, ‘Rockaway, Rockaway! Signal the plane, signal the plane!’ So I was like, ‘I need to make a fucking dance.’ So I was like, ‘My niggas don’t dance, we just pull up our pants, and do the Rockaway.’

“And I was like, ‘You know, every time Missy does a song, it’s so simple, but it’s so dope. If you do the Rockaway, you just lean back.’ So I was like, ‘Lean back, lean back.’ And the rest is history.

 

Me and Eminem were cool before he even had a record deal. I wouldn’t dare ask him for a favor. But [DJ] Khaled was gassing me and this is when he was a little nigga in the crew. He kept telling me, ‘Get the white boy!’ I was like, ‘Nah, I ain’t gonna bother him.’ And he was like, ‘I’m telling you, that’s your man. He’ll do it!’ So I went and I asked him. And he hit me back like, ‘Yo Joe, you know you got one favor. Is this it?’

 

“After we did that, we started praying to God. We lost our minds. Everybody we played it for lost their minds. I was walking around studios playing it, and the whole session was jumping on the wall. It was that shit.

“Remy Ma bodied it. I had three verses, and Remy force me to let her get on that song. She was like, ‘Yo Joe, man. Come on, I gotta be on it.’ And she killed it.”

“[With the remix] Lil’ Jon was like the hardest producer at the time, so I got him to flip it. The dirty south shit was popping and Lil’ Jon was hottest in the game. I said, ‘My nigga, I want it to sound just like ‘Lean Back,’ but with that bounce. Because, how am I going to change the whole beat up when everyone was saying that was the beat of the year? But I said [to Lil’ Jon], ‘Throw that crunk shit to it, and let’s go from there.’

“Me and Eminem were cool before he even had a record deal. I wouldn’t dare ask him for a favor. But [DJ] Khaled was gassing me and this is when he was a little nigga in the crew. He kept telling me, ‘Get the whiteboy!’ I was like, ‘Nah, I ain’t gonna bother him.’ And he was like, ‘I’m telling you, that’s your man. He’ll do it!’

 

Eminem's another nigga [like Nas on ‘John Blaze’] who sent me mad verses. He did like 10 ‘Lean Back’ verses. He’s a perfectionist. It was incredible already. I didn’t understand why he would keep sending other ones.

 

“So I went and I asked him. And he hit me back like, ‘Yo Joe, you know you got one favor. Is this it?’ Eminem [actually rapped at first] on the original. And he was asking me, ‘Yo, why did you change the beat?!?’ And he’s another nigga [like Nas on ‘John Blaze’] who sent me mad verses. He did like 10 ‘Lean Back’ verses. He’s a perfectionist. It was incredible already. I didn’t understand why he would keep sending other ones.

“When I played ‘Lean Back (Remix)’ for the first time on the radio with Angie Martinez, the city stopped. The whole earth stopped. She was like, ‘I heard you got this remix, and I heard it’s crazy. But I don’t know who’s on it.’ And I was like, ‘Yo, I got the white boy.’ And the whole place got quiet.

“That was Eminem. He never stepped out the box if it wasn’t Dre to do a feature. So when he came out on my shit, niggas lost their mind. They played that shit for like a half an hour. It was crazy.

“Yeah, I brought Mase back [and put him on the remix too]. Not only did I get Mase after he retired, I told him he had to spit gangster shit. And he just came out of church!”

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