Producer: Cool & Dre
Ja Rule: “It was a big record for me. That was around the time of the whole beef with 50. I went down to see Cool & Dre and they actually thought of that hook. It was an old KRS-One song [Boogie Down Production’s ‘100 Guns’].
"They said, ‘Ja, we got an ill idea for you.’ They spit the hook to me and I was like, ‘That’s crazy. Don’t give that to nobody else. I need that!’ I’m used to writing everything, so for me it was a new feeling to have someone create something that I like. Usually I will take it, flip it, and do it over, you know? But I loved it.
Guys were trying to get me to do different local variations of the record, and I said, ‘Nah. This record is for New York.’ I’m happy I didn't, because wherever I go, wherever I perform the record, people sing that.
“We got Fat Joe, I hit up Jadakiss, and we put that thing down. I don’t think we really gave a fuck [about the beef]. It was just like, ‘Yo, we making a record. This is a hot record. We doing what we doing.’ Good music is good music.
“You know what’s funny about ‘New York?’ Before that, there were other records that were New York anthems, but then they made variations for other cities and towns. But this really is a local record. This record had its own legs. It was a whole different type of animal. We toyed around with the idea. Guys were trying to get me to do different local variations of the record, and I said, ‘Nah. This record is for New York.’ I wouldn’t make a different variation of the record. I’m happy I didn’t, because wherever I go, wherever I perform the record, people sing that.
“I don’t care where you’re from; New York is the mecca. People want to be a part of New York. They want to feel like they’re from New York. For them to sing that record for that moment, they was New Yorkers. They was repping New York. I’m talking worldwide. I go to different countries and I’m from New York.”