Jermaine Dupri Tells All: The Stories Behind His Classic Records (Part 1)

Murphy Lee f/ Jermaine Dupri "Wat Da Hook Gon' Be" (2003)

Producer: Jermaine Dupri
Album: Murphy's Law
Label: Derrty Ent./Universal Records

"Yeah, me and Nelly, we knew each other for a while. He was like, 'This is my new artist, Murphy Lee. I want you to produce for him.' I was like, 'I don't really know what to do, I don't really know him like that.' That's a song where I didn't really get the opportunity to work with the artist to form a working relationship and get to know who the artist was. It was just like, pull up beats and try to see if it works. We made a couple beats, and then the third beat that I made was 'Wat Da Hook Gon Be.' He was like, 'Yeah, that's it.'

"Every time somebody says to me 'that's it' and they're writing the song, my question for them is, 'what's the hook going to be, though?' Because he had a rap, and he was saying the rap and it sounded right. But where I came from, with rap records, they're not going to make it if they don't have a hook. They're not going to make it if they don't have something that people can catch onto in their rap record. For some reason, I didn't want to have none of those in my life. I wanted to have a rap record, I wanted records that had a hook. So I was like, 'What's the hook going to be?' He didn't have no hook at that time when I said that. So I left out the room and when I came back, that's what he said. He said, 'Say that again.' I said, 'What? What's the hook going to be?' He said, 'Yeah, that's it right there.' It was real weird because it just happened like that. It literally happened because I was asking him what the hook was going to be for the song."

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