Best of Both Worlds: How Hova and Dre built Kingdom Come‘s blueprint.
“Dre just called me out of nowhere, and he just said, ‘Yo I’m in Hawaii, I’m about to send you something.’ Now Dre, you know, he’s not a tape making person. He sent me about like 25 beats, and it was gone from there. It was like, Okay, this is a problem right now. You know, 25 Dre beats, I mean, what the fuck.”
“Actually we was going to do the whole album together but I knew that wouldn’t work, only because it’s Dr. Dre and Jay-Z, you know, its very difficult to get those two guys in a room together. Dre, he’s a creative guy so you can’t push those kind of guys. He works his own
way. You gotta let him work at his own pace. So, I knew that wouldn’t happen. But we started out like we was going to do the whole album and then, you know, he disappeared for a minute. I left him alone, I didn’t call him for a couple months. Maybe two months. Two months.”
“Then I just called him, like, ‘Yo, uh, I want you to mix something.’ I just picked up the conversation like no time had went by. It went smooth, you know what I’m saying? With the records, I would ask him, ‘Like, what did you think about that? You love that second verse? What about that third ’cause I can change it.’”
“You know, Dre or whoever is producing the track, I’ll let the producer be a producer. Sometimes producers don’t want to be producers, they wanna make beats. But working with Dre, it made me critique what I was saying a little more also. Cause I want to be better than the beats too. No one wants the beat to be destroying them. You try to beat the track, no matter who did it.”
“Yeah, Dre was in Hawaii and started sending him CD’s and he started playing me some shit and I was like, ‘Yeah, we gotta get started.’ He had a good 21 beats he sent him on one CD. All that does is get Jay in the stu’ getting in the mindset of making a record. Now you call Swizz and be like, ‘Swizz, come upstairs and play Jay some shit. Sean Garrett, Swizz is up here, ya’ll is writing a record together, come up here and see if you can do a hook for Jay.’ Just flipping ideas to try and get him in the mode or make suggestions of what you think he should write about. It’s not the easiest thing, cuz it’s like, looking back what topic haven’t we covered?”
“The thing about Jay is that, the reason he has the longevity is because everything he talks about is true. He pulls from his own life. All the rumors and questions, whatever you want to know, all those things are answered on the album. If you listen hard enough, it’s there. All the shit that you want to hear about the Roc breakup, the baby with Free, any rumor, it’s in the album. Then he goes a bit more personal, normally Jay does what he does; the hardcore shit, the ‘Change Clothes’ joints that he knows will get the majority of the people and he may give you one or two personal songs. This album, to me, it seems like it has crazy personal songs. A lot of this stuff is like really really personal shit.”
Look for the full story in the December 2006 issue, on stands now!
Go to the next page for more behind-the-scenes at the making of Kingdom Come.