Label: Relativity Records
Just Blaze: “I had known Prodigy for a number of years, tracing back to The Cutting Room. Me and P-Rod were always really cool. He used to come to my house and I would show him how to make beats.
“He had that group Bars & Hooks at the time. I was helping him put that record together. He was alright [at making beats]. It wasn’t great but he’d never made a beat before. Me and him would just go to the house and I’d show him how to make beats.
“Looking back, it’s crazy that I used to have Prodigy in my crib. My girl’s sitting there, making dinner, and he’s just sitting there on the keyboard trying to learn how to play keys. There was no smoking in my crib, so he definitely wasn’t high. He was cool.
“We had done a bunch of records already. That was just one of many he wanted to use for the album. We did about five records with Bars & Hooks and when we did that one, he was like, ‘I want to use this one for my album. The rest of them will be for Bars & Hooks’ album.’ We mixed it on a Neve console and I hate Neves. I like the way they sound, I’m just not comfortable.
“People hear ‘Just Blaze’ and they think it’s about weed. [The name Just Blaze] was a running joke with the guys from Harlem World. It was between Huddy Combs—Huddy 6 rest in peace—and Super Sam. Super Sam was another dude who was down with Ma$e’s management team at the time.
“Originally, they were saying my name should be Just Hot and I was like, ‘No, no, no, no, no.’ Somehow, from there it went to Just Blaze. I didn’t like the name. When Harlem World came out, they put Just Blaze on it and it sold 500,000 copies. I said, ‘Alright, let’s keep it.’”