Rumors of a collaboration began circulating back in November, when the hip-hop mogul and famed producer were seen in the studio together; however, at that time, it was unclear what the men had in store. Many speculated Zay would be a contributing producer for Hov’s long-awaited 13th studio album, while others believed the collaboration would land on a new Zay project. Well, it turns out both theories could be correct.
In a recent interview with Billboard, the Atlanta producer opened up about his partnership with Jay, explaining how it all went down.
“What’s so crazy is I always looked at Jay Z and guys on the caliber of Jay Z like they just the big dogs. I didn’t think they listen to my music or even know who I am,” he explained. “I was in L.A. in a meeting with [veteran publishing executive] Big Jon and he was like, 'Me and Jay was just talking about you.' So he text him and [Jay Z] said, 'You have Zaytoven over there? Can he come to the house?' And I’m like, What? For real?”
Zay went on to say he was humbled by Jay’s interest, and had no idea the rapper was familiar with, or even cared about, his work.
“[W]hen Jay Z invited me to his house and told me what type of beats he wanted, it opened my mind up to be like, 'My music is reaching everybody and touching people in a certain way,’’” Zay said. “There's a distinct something when they hear my music. I feel like [the collaboration] is gonna be for both of [our projects]. I know it's going to be a trophy for me.”
So there you have it. Though we still don’t know where the collaborative record will land, Zay did confirm he and Jay have new projects on deck. Of course, this is huge news for Hov fans, as the 47-year-old Brooklyn rapper hasn't released an album since 2013’s Magna Carta Holy Grail.
Stay tuned as more information about the new projects roll out.