Jay-Z "Reach The Top"

It was during an impromptu meeting at a McDonald’s with Jay-Z and Damon Dash during the 1995 Gavin Convention in San Francisco that Loud A&R execs Matty C and Schott Free were handed a demo of this lyrically-prescient lost Jigga track (just one song from a full 60-minute cassette of material, Free recalls). But issues clearing the song’s extensive Marvin Gaye sample, and label head Steve Rifkind’s hesitance wound up killing any potential deal. Jigga took his ensuing album, a little something called Reasonable Doubt, over to Priority, then eventually inked his long-term deal with Def Jam, and the rest is “Hov-story.”

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