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The-Dream became the latest in a series of influential musicians and writers to become verified users on Genius (formerly known as Rap Genius) today, annotating rap lyrics with insights into how they were made and their meaning. Given his prolific output with some of the biggest names in the game (Beyoncé, Kanye West, Jay-Z, Britney Spears, Rihanna, Mariah Carey, Justin Bieber…just some people you may have heard of), Terius Nash’s stories are (as one would expect) proportionately grandiose.
He tells the story of how “No Church In The Wild” was actually the result of Kanye hearing Jay Z’s The-Dream produced hit “Holy Grail” for the first time—according to him, the song changed the entire direction of Watch The Throne:
As they were wrapping up Watch The Throne, Jay says, “Are we finished? Is this it? Okay, cool, I want to play you a record that’s gonna be on my album.” He plays “Holy Grail,” and of course a shitstorm happens. Kanye’s not an idiot.
Kanye says “This track is crazy, it needs to be on Watch the Throne.”
And Jay says, “No, that’s a single from my album.” And that’s how I got the phone call asking me to try to do a record close to that one.
I get to New York, and we’re at the Mercer Hotel, working. We had the whole floor. I get in, Frank Ocean’s sitting there, and they’re just starting on “No Church in The Wild.”
So “Holy Grail” itself inspired them to change Watch the Throne. Because of that record, six other records got made at that point, including “Otis.”