Erick Sermon Tells All: The Stories Behind His Classic Records (Part 2)

Erick Sermon f/ Redman “React” (2002)



Album: React
Label: J Records
Producer: Erick Sermon

Erick Sermon: “When I came right back the second year with 'React,' [Clive Davis] was like, 'Oh my god! I did the right thing! He's a hit maker!' Clive Davis loves music. Even at his age, he knows what shit's supposed to sound like.

“[Just Blaze] stuck me up. He wasn't [fully popping yet], but it was too late. The label got amped, because somebody gave the record to Angie Martinez, and she was like, 'Oh my God, somebody have Erick Sermon call me right now!'

“Now, the record's everywhere. Damon Dash is mad, because he's like [to Just Blaze], 'Yo, how are you gonna give shit away without letting us listen to it first?' People want their stuff to stay in house.

 

Now, the record's everywhere. Damon Dash is mad, because he's like [to Just Blaze], 'Yo, how are you gonna give shit away without letting us listen to it first?' People want their stuff to stay in house.

 

“But Red and Meth had the beat [before me]. If you ever watch the Hard Knock Life tour [documentary], Red and Meth are in the car somewhere, and you can hear the beat playing. Busta had the beat too. People had the beat. But I was like, 'Whatever she said, then I'm that.' People didn't know what to do with the beat, but I did.

“$60,000 I gave to Just Blaze for that beat. He said in a magazine, 'I know Erick says that's the biggest check I got [but it wasn't].' But what I meant is that was the first big check he got at the time. And [the trend of using Arabic samples] all came from that one record.

“[Redman] didn't want to get on the record. He didn't feel it. That's why people say that I got him on my verse. Because he took it lightly. But Reggie and them, they love me. So if I say, 'Get on this' they do it. But it blew him. That was a great look for him. In the beginning, he couldn't see it, but I knew.

“When I walked into Clive Davis' office, I knew it. They called all the staff in, and put me in a whole big conference room. Just me and the whole J Records staff. And they put it in. But [even though it says Just Blaze in the beginning of the song], I lied to them [Laughs]. I didn't tell them I bought the beat. They thought I produced it!”

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