Jay-Z f/ Kanye West & Rihanna “Run This Town” (2009)

Album: The Blueprint 3

Label: Roc Nation/Atlantic

No I.D.: “That was initially a Rihanna record. She came down to Hawaii and we did it. We did a few records for her—and two of them became ‘Run This Town’ and Drake’s ‘Find Your Love.’ She came down and cut the record and then she passed on it. We were all like ‘What? You’re passing?’

“Jay heard it and said ‘This is my record now.’ Then Kanye heard it and said ‘Nah, don’t give Jay that record—that’s my record.’ [Laughs] Then Jay hits me and says, ‘Don’t let Kanye get that record.’ So Jay got it, and Kanye ended up doing a verse. It was a memorable moment. We won a Grammy, but when you have those three on a record, you’re supposed to win a Grammy. That was a monster that didn’t sound like a commercial record. It was a pure hip-hop beat, and darker than a traditional pop record.”