L.A. Reid Forced Him To Rush Kingdom Come
[Ed. note—According to Guru, Def Jam had no releases in first quarter of 2006, followed by huge push in second quarter. After a number of albums flopped because of illegal downloading, which they refused to aknowledge, the company was in dire shape. Coupled with that was the fact the label no longer had big stars like DMX moving units for them, so the situation worsened.]
Young Guru:“Now, everything rides on this Jay-Z album. Jay goes on a world tour and goes to Africa to do his Water for Life thing. He’s doing all this stuff and L.A. Reid is looking at me, like, ‘We need the Jay album by the end of the year.’
Jay goes on a world tour and goes to Africa to do his Water for Life thing. He’s doing all this stuff and L.A. Reid is looking at me, like, ‘We need the Jay album by the end of the year.'
“I’m like, ‘We’re not ready. I have some songs but it’s not done and he’s in Africa.’ They’re like ‘If this shit doesn’t come out, people are getting fired. I can’t pay my bills, this record has to come out at this time.’
“I’m begging, ‘Can I please push this back? He’s in Africa’ and they’re like, ‘Alright get on a plane.’ I ended up meeting Jay in Taipei, Taiwan and we didn’t really get to record until we got to Australia. But it’s like, you’re in the middle of a world tour doing soccer arenas that hold 60,000, to 100,000 people.
“He’s doing a show with 70,000 people and then I’m asking him to go to the studio right after that; his voice is gone. We’re in a foreign place trying to catch a vibe so it’s like double work. Not only did you have to memorize and do a two-hour show, now I’m asking you to be creative. This is why you get Kingdom Come.”