Start of Your Ending: How Jay-Z finally got it together to start recording music again.
Jay-Z: “I put myself in the studio to really get into it. Just me and Guru. Just to feel it out. And it took me like, two weeks [to get going]. I wasn’t even making anything. I would go there and just stand there for a couple hours and just listen to new tracks. Then I was like, ‘Oh, I’ll come back tomorrow.’”
“I would do a full day. I did it in Sony a lot. I would go to the studio and I wouldn’t stay late either. I would stay til about 12, 1. You know, about seven, eight, til 12, one, everyday. I wouldn’t go in Sunday though. I needed a day off.”
“It’s been the weirdest process of making a Jay album because he’s running a company. My normal experience with Jay used to be around two o’clock, he’d be sitting in the front of Baseline, Just Blaze would be doing whatever he’s doing and I’d be collecting beats for the day. Jay would come in and we’d make records in about three or four weeks and the album is done. He’d hold court here or be at the 40/40. Now it’s like, he’s running a whole company and I really don’t like playing him beats in the office. The phone rings, everybody’s around or someone needs him to sign something or run to a meeting. I gotta get him when his attention is necessary.”
“That’s the main reason why we didn’t do it at Baseline. That’s home. We did it at Sony because it’s four blocks away from the office. Like, around May he got serious. In the beginning, I tried to keep it secretive to everybody in the building. Baseline is kind of secluded so there’s not gonna be another session going on in there with somebody that you don’t know. Sony is a big studio. You see the Maybach out front, then you start seeing three or four known rappers out front. It got to the point at the end where everybody knew we had been there for a month already. With people starting to drop by, you can’t really concentrate. That’s the only reason why I was trying to keep it secret. Not for the public not to know we’re making an album, I wanted him to be able to focus and come through that door so we can just work and make a record. It’s hard sometime because it’s certain people that’s family. You can’t say, “Don’t come over here.” But at some point, I need this nigga focused on making this. With Jay, it’s a spark, and this time it was with Dre.”
Next Time: The stories behind Kingdom Come‘s Jay-Dre collaborations
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.