On Monday afternoon, ESPN.com published a story about how LeBron James and Kevin Durant collaborated on a top-secret rap song back in 2011. The song was reportedly "stashed away somewhere" after it was recorded and never released to the world. But according to those who spoke with ESPN.com, the song definitely exists. One source described it as "a quality track" with lyrics that were "surprisingly well-crafted and delivered."
We still don’t know if that last part is true. But on Tuesday night, Ben Schigel, the owner of the Cleveland-based recording company Spider Studios, revealed that the song is real. He shared a snippet of it on the Spider Studios’ Twitter account and said that he would release the entire track if the tweet featuring the song managed to get one million retweets.
As of right now, the tweet only has about 10,000 retweets, which means it’s unlikely that Schigel is going to drop the song anytime soon. But on Tuesday afternoon, Complex caught up with him to talk about the night the song was recorded, his decision to keep it locked away in the vault for so long, and whether or not he’ll consider putting it out even if he doesn’t get the required number of retweets.
(This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.)
What do you remember about the night LeBron James and Kevin Durant recorded a rap song together?
They came into my studio Spider Studios in Cleveland, Ohio. I have a buddy that was recording, and I guess he knows LeBron’s manager [Maverick Carter] and a few of LeBron’s buddies. When the NBA had the lockout, I think Durant was working out with LeBron, and my buddy said they wanted to record. He didn’t say Kevin Durant. He said LeBron, so I was only expecting LeBron. And then they both came in and I was like, 'Oh, this is kind of cool.'
Was it just LeBron and KD?
They came in with a bunch of their buddies, and we recorded from like 10 o’clock until four in the morning. We did a bunch of songs. Well, we didn’t do a bunch of songs. We did two or three.
Oh wait, so there’s more than just the one song that everybody is talking about right now?
They did that song and then they did one other song. But the second song doesn’t have KD on it. It was just LeBron and a couple of his buddies.
Do you know if the song with LeBron and KD has an official title?
I don’t think the song has a name.
What was the vibe like in the studio when LeBron and KD started recording?
The vibe was cool. Those guys came—they probably had like 15 or 20 of their buddies show up with them—and they just kind of hung out and wrote as they were there. There was one moment I remember laughing because I was working on the Pro Tools rig and I looked and Kevin Durant was sitting on my floor. I was like, 'Dude, you’re worth $20 million or whatever, somebody can get you a chair.' [Laughs.] 'You shouldn’t be sitting on the floor.'
The ESPN story about the song LeBron and KD recorded said that KD may have produced it. I’m guessing that if he was hanging out on the floor, that part of the story probably isn’t true. Did he play any role in the production?
I can’t remember where the beat came from. I don’t think it was KD. I’ve been trying to figure that out.
Do you know why they picked that night to come to the studio to record music?
I think it was just real spontaneous. I don’t think they really knew what was going to happen. I don’t even know if they were planning on anything happening. It’s kind of like if you were to go to the movies or something. I think they were just like, 'Let’s go into the studio and make a couple tracks because we’re bored.'
Did it seem like they were going to do anything with the song they put together?
I don’t know what their plans were because I never really talked to them after that day. I think they were just trying to have a good time.
After they were finished recording the song, what did you do with it?
It just kind of lived on a hard drive in the studio. I’ve had it for six or seven years, and I’ve never really played it for anybody. I’ve kept it a secret. But when I started to hear the news about the song yesterday, I laughed because I knew I had it.
Why did you decide to put out a snippet of the song after holding onto it for all these years?
I put it out there just to let people know it does exist. I also wouldn’t mind maybe trying to find an avenue to do something with it. With LeBron and KD's blessings of course.
Have you heard from either of their camps since releasing the snippet?
I talked to LeBron’s manager for a little bit today. He was cool with me putting the snippet out.
So the most important question: Are you actually going to make everyone wait until you hit a million retweets to release the song, or will you put it out before then?
We’ll see, you know? [Laughs.] It’s tough to get to a million.