Jay-Z “D.O.A.” (2009)
Album: The Blueprint 3
Label: Roc Nation/Atlantic
No I.D.: “That’s a pretty known story. We were working in Hawaii and we got into a big argument about the direction of Jay’s album. I wanted it to sound one way, and Jay another. So we started arguing back and forth, and then a Soulja Boy song came on where he was using Auto-Tune and Jay’s facial expression just turned to ‘What?’
We got into a big argument about the direction of Jay’s album. I wanted it to sound one way, and Jay another. Then a Soulja Boy song came on where he was using Auto-Tune and Jay’s facial expression just turned to ‘What?'
“I had that idea, and I pulled up the track. Jay liked it and knew exactly what to do, I could tell something serious was going through his head.
“So early the next morning Young Guru calls me super early and is like ‘Yo, get over here right now, you’ve gotta hear this.’ And I’m like ‘Cool. I’m about to go play basketball and then I’ll be through. I know it’s crazy, it’s Jay, but I’ll be there later.’ and Guru was like ‘No, you don’t understand. Come right now.’ So I went right over there and I heard just how crazy it was. But my first reaction was ‘I hope Kanye don’t get mad.’ [Laughs].
“So Jay looks at me and says ‘You’re overreacting. You don’t know what this is?’ I was like ‘Yeah, but...’ and then he says ‘Ye told me to do it.’ Then Kanye came in and said ‘Damn Jay, you went too far!’ and I stopped him and said ‘You’ve gotta put that on the record!’ And that’s how it all came together.
“I hopped on a plane to leave Hawaii and while I was in the air, Funkmaster Flex premiered it on Hot 97—ran it back, dropped bombs on it and everything. I came off the plane to so many texts and emails. That was one of my favorite hip-hop moments I’ve been involved in in my life. It was priceless.
I heard just how crazy it was. But my first reaction was ‘I hope Kanye don’t get mad.’
“Jay later called me to congratulate me on my Grammy. What a lot of people don’t know is that even if you win certain categories, you don’t get a physical Grammy. Only ‘Run This Town’ won me a physical Grammy even though both records won. But Jay said this one was more important because it wasn’t a real single—it wasn’t commercial record with a hook. It was a hard record. It was an accomplishment.”