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Time To Build: The Making Of Jay Z’s ‘Blueprint’

Produced by KANYE WEST

YOUNG GURU: Jay always does his sequencing. The thing that makes him who he is, he has a certain amount of people, maybe four or five, that
he really trusts, that’s in his inner circle, and he takes all of our opinions and then makes a decision based on all of our opinions. So Jay doesn’t really have an A&R. It’s just him. But he takes into account everyone’s opinion. The lessons that he’s giving in “Never Change” is just crazy. It’s about not changing who you are. Obviously, Jay evolved, but it’s about not changing the core of who you are. That’s that line from [“Public Service Announcement:”] “You could try to change, but that’s just the top layer/You was who you was when you got here.”

JAY-Z: [With the line, “You say you lost $100,000 worth of crack? And you got it all back,”] I remember doing that, I remember saying that,
and [former Def Jam VP of A&R Tyran “Ty Ty” Smith] going crazy, like, “Yo, you can’t do that. Yo, you buggin’.” He really didn’t want me to put that on there at all. I remember it was a big thing, like, “Yo, I said it.” I ain’t doing shit now, but it was a lot of information.

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