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


TONE: [Jay] actually made two attempts on the record. He vocaled it one time, and it was actually perfect. And then I was riding around
with that version, [and] he called me on the phone. He said, “Now it’s a classic.” I said, “What you talking about?” He said, “I fixed it.
It’s a classic now.” And then he sent me the new version, with the verse that the public hears now, and it was unbelievable.

JAY-Z: Tone always disappears. You see him one month, [and then] he’s gone. I wanted him to not executive produce, but… I always liked the
way he mixed records, and the way he does his drops in such a hip-hop approach to it, and I really want him on the thing… [Tone] was supposed to oversee The Blueprint. He missed the whole opportunity. I would kill myself.

DURO: [Tone] might’ve been one of the people that’d been like, “Yo, it needs to be bigger,” and that’s when I came in. I remember when I was
mixing that song, I didn’t know it was a single at that point. The sample was hot. It just needed that knock.

TONE: Jay doesn’t even know it was [originally] for N.O.R.E. [Laughs] N.O.R.E. doesn’t even know it was for N.O.R.E. That’s funny. It was
actually the same joint, but with the word “N.O.R.E.” Instead of “Jigga,” it was “N.O.R.E.”

JAY-Z: What “Jigga That Nigga” did was, in the soul samples and that feeling, it kept you awake. It was one of those joints that was out of
place, but out of place in a good way. ’Cause it’s, like, in the middle of the album, pretty much, and it breaks the album up to go right back into that motion.

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