On the latest episode of LeBron James’ HBO series The Shop, Hov shed more light on the late rapper’s unparalleled stage presence. Jay said he had been tapped to perform immediately after X finished his set, and became increasingly aware that the Ruff Ryder would be a tough act to follow.
“X is about to go, and I’m like, ‘I wanna see,’” Jay recalled. “And he goes [growls], and the fucking arena goes crazy. First of all, it’s deafening, and I’m like, ‘Ohhh shit.’ He has a thing, like an Alize and Hennessey mix, it looks like blood, like he’s drinking blood, and he’s running back and forth [on the stage]. Halfway through the show, and then he takes his shirt. And the whole crowd goes wild. ‘Aaaaaah!’”
Jay said he witnessed X take the entire crowd on an emotional roller coaster ride. One minute the arena was screaming and then next, they’re all in tears.
“He’s going nuts, right? And I’m like, ‘Shit.’ First the guys are going crazy, now the girls are going crazy. And then he gets to the end, and he starts a prayer. And now they’re crying, the whole arena is crying. And then [concert organizers] go, ‘OK, now you go.’”
Elsewhere in the episode, Jay spoke about the time he decided to boycott the Grammys in 1999, the same year his Vol. 2…Hard Knock Life project won Best Rap Album. Jay said he decided out of respect for X, who, despite having great records that year, was completely snubbed by the Recording Academy.
Hov also addressed ghostwriting “Still D.R.E.” for Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg, explaining that he did vocals for both of them on the reference track.