Jay Rock's Redemption, though it arrived sandwiched between two of 2018's most anticipated albums, is more than accomplished enough to break through the hype. In a new interview with the Breakfast Club Tuesday, Rock broke down the real-life perspective-altering experiences that inspired his new record and looked back on the sessions that resulted in his hit Black Panther soundtrack single "King's Dead."
The fact that Redemption's release just so happened to come hours after the unveiling of Nas' NASIR and just one day ahead of the Carters' Everything Is Love is, by Rock's estimation, a positive thing. "The way I look at it, man, that just put me up there with the greats," he said at the top of the interview. "It feels good, man. ... It's a beautiful thing just to be mentioned among those people."
Later, around the 16-minute mark, DJ Envy asked Rock about landing a Future feature for his Kendrick Lamar collab "King's Dead," which also appears on the Redemption tracklist. "I was in the studio working on my album, and me and Kendrick was, like, right across from each other," Rock recalled. "I come over, he playing this beat, and I'm like 'This beat hard right here.' He's like 'Yeah, Mike Will did this. You got something for it?' I was like 'Yeah.' He was like 'I'm working on this Black Panther project.' I'm like 'Black Panther? Man, what you doing? Some revolutionary type shit? What's going on? Talk to me.' He's like 'Nah, nah, nah. It's for the Marvel superhero.'"
After some vibing as a duo, Rock considered the track a wrap and wasn't even aware of Future's involvement. "Basically I didn't even know he had the Future verse," Rock said. "I did my verse and then I went out and came in and Future on this motherfucker."
When Rock first heard Future's contribution, he knew the track would be a hit. "I swear to god, dawg, when I first heard that, dawg, I said 'This is outta here, it's a hit record,'" he said.
And he was right. "King's Dead" became Rock's first Billboard Hot 100 entry back in January, peaking at No. 21.