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

10) “SONG CRY”
Produced by JUST BLAZE

JUST BLAZE: You can’t tell from listening, because it sounds so fluid, but that record is probably the most I’ve ever chopped up a [sample]
ever. The pianos is playing, and all the keys that’s in there, every note that’s hit is a chop. You can’t just take that record, line up some drums, loop it up and go, because the playing and the sample is all over the place. I had to chop every note up, from the piano to the chimes. Even every note he sang. I think there is, like, 70 sample chops in that record.

YOUNG GURU: It was late at night. Just started chopping up the sample, and he had the sample just looping. I was like, “It don’t make sense
the way you got it. Something’s wrong in there.” He’s like, “Nah, Guru. Trust me, it’s gonna be right. Just watch what I do with it.” And he finished the beat, and I was like, “I get it now. This shit is incredible.” That was, like, phase one of that beat. And then he played it for Jay, and Jay loved it and rapped on it, and we were so hyped that Jay liked it. Just took it that night, and it was in one form, just the beat, one part of the beat. It was one part of the sample, and Jay rapped on
that. By the time Jay came back the next day, Just had fleshed the song out into the way that you hear it on the album, and Jay was just amazed, because it sounded so different to what he laid. He was like, “This kid is incredible.”

JAY-Z: “Song Cry” is the perfect example of taking something real and make a fantasy out of it. I took three different relationships and
made it one girl. It was three different things that happened, with three different girls—major relationships that I had. And I made it to one girl.

LENNY S: Jay challenged himself on how to end this song. He didn’t want it to be typical. The guy who writes the song always gets the
girl, the car, the money. Jay felt that wasn’t real in life. You definitely take some L’s in all aspects of life. So that third verse, he took a minute on it. He actually rewrote it. He started something, stopped, went back and let the girl cheat on him, and he was actually hurt. He definitely took a minute to just be vulnerable. We were all sitting there, and I could see it in his eyes.

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