Album: The Inspiration
Label: Def Jam Records, Corporate Thugz Entertainment
DJ Toomp: “One day Young Jeezy came through to my studio in the southwest of Atlanta in the West End, to hear some music. He heard both 'I Luv It' and 'I Got Money.' I had gone through a couple of songs on my laptop for him.
“I remember as soon as he heard 'I Got Money,' he was like, 'Okay, yup—put that one on'—this meant drag the tracks over into a folder. So I dragged that one into the folder and we just kept on going. When he first heard 'I Got Money' he knew he liked it, even though he didn’t have any ideas in his head right than. He didn’t have an immediate hook, like he usually would.
“As we continued to go through tracks, he suddenly looked at me and said, 'Man, let me hear some of that other stuff you don’t hardly ever play for people.'
“'I Luv It' was one of those songs. Every producer has that, or should have—a secret stash of music.
“This is important, because you got some artists who come through the studio that just want to zoom in right quick, like, 'Let’s see what Toomp got' on some twenty, thirty minutes, oh I got a flight to catch, stuff. But then you have some folks who just have the patience. If you come and see me and you have patience, like about two and a half hours? Oh yeah, you’ll hear way more than the average person who is just coming through on a fling. It’s more intimate, we’re just zoning out. I can really take the time and go through everything, cause I got music scattered out everywhere, I’m working on like four different software programs when I create music. Plus I still use hardware. So I just have stuff all over the place.
“Everybody don’t deserve to hear my full library. If you just coming through quick? You’re cheating yourself. Before my studio was built, artists use to come to my house to hear music.
“So I went in a whole ‘nother playlist for Jeezy. And when he heard maybe the first four bars of 'I Luv It,' he was like, 'Hold on! Go back to that one!' So I was like, 'Oh shit, that one’s pretty cool.' And he was like, 'Naw, that’s more than cool.'
“I let the track play for a minute and he just tapped me on my shoulder and was like, 'I got something for this one right now! I’m going to call it ‘I Luv It,’’ and [he] started mumbling the melody.
“I would say about a week later he hit me back and was like, 'Ay man, we got a smash.' And when I heard it, I was definitely satisfied.
“For that Inspiration album, I remember Timbaland wanting his song to be the first single. He produced a track called '3 A.M.' It was a cool record, but it was more of an album song. At one point [Def Jam] was like, 'Aight man, we trying to decide between your song and Timbaland’s...'
“When Def Jam decided to use 'I Luv It' as the first single, I was actually impressed, because some labels actually get all hyped and caught up into the name of a big producer, rather than the actual song itself. But in this situation, the song prevailed.”