DJ Quik Tells All: The Stories Behind his Classic Records

Jay-Z "Justify My Thug" (2003)

Producer: DJ Quik
Album: The Black Album
Label: Roc-A-Fella/Def Jam

DJ Quik: “That's the only plaque I've got up in my studio. I hung up my Black Album plaque. I'm looking at it right now next to my Marvin Gaye poster. It was my boy Scott Vener, he hooked that up. He had a link with Jay, he said 'Jay wanna fuck with you, come out to New York.' I was like, 'Cool.' Plane ticket.

"Flew out there, set up shop, hung out with Guru three or four days, made beats. Started Monday. Jay fell in on Thursday, him and Beyoncé. Walk in the studio. That was my first time kicking it with him after the tour, because I did a couple of spot dates with him.

"I just followed him, popped up on a couple of his shows, watched him, Beanie Sigel, Memph Bleek just tear the house down in San Francisco. Just being a fly on the wall, too—it was dope. He knew I was left-handed, just like him. I let him know, whatever you need.

"I banged out three, four beats, he was, 'Eh, eh, eh, I like that one right there.' So from that point, we stemmed out the track, Guru put a nice rough mix on it, Jay got up, walked in the booth, cocked his fucking Nike fitted to the left, I think it was. And just belted that motherfucker out. Who does that? One take with no paper? Who does that shit? He's a rock star, man, a fucking rock star.”

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