Last week, Jay Z dropped the video for "Bam" featuring Damian Marley. The track comes from Hov's latest album 4:44, which has already gone platinum in under a month of being released. In an interview with BUILD Series, Marley talks about how the collaboration came about—but first, he explained how he and Jay first met.
"When 'Welcome to Jam Rock,' the song, came out, at the time, I was a free agent, so to speak," Marley said. "I didn't have a record deal. Jay Z was interested in signing me at the time to Def Jam. That was the first time, actually, I had met him."
Marley then broke down how he became a part of 4:44.
"I was going to California to go shoot a video for a song I have called 'Medication,'" Marley said. "Suddenly, I see a text come up on my phone, saying, 'Hey, it's Jay. I'm out in California, I hear you're coming out. Can you please stop by the studio for a few hours?' And I said, 'Sure,' and I went by. He had the idea for the hook for the song already. He knew what he wanted for the hook, so I did that for him. And then he said, 'OK can you just freestyle over the beat?' So they played the beat down and looped it out for like, 15 minutes. So I'm just freestyling, singing all kind of garbage. And then they edited my freestyles and made my verse. So it was kind of cool, yeah. Easy work."
During a stop at Sway in the Morning, Marley revealed that Jay played 4:44 for him before it was released.
"He played down the whole album for me before I went into the booth," Marley said. "So the first thing, when I walked into the studio, he said, 'I'm working on this album. All of it's here, it's 10 tracks,' and he played it down. So we listened to the whole record before I even started to sing."
In the video for "Bam," Jay and Marley walk the streets of Jamaica and reflect on the role of musicians in society and the Marley family legacy. You can watch it here.