The Internet’s favorite record gets dissected in a semi-intelligent quick convo between two dudes who get along.
How did “Ignorant Shit” first come about?
Just Blaze: That was the first record we did for the Black Album. We did that on the road actually.
What made you flip the “Between the Sheets” song?
You know what—obviously we know that one year where it was used 80,000 times between Keith Murray, Da Brat, Biggie, Rob Base tried to do a comeback off of it, Lil Vicious—it was like million records that used that part and I always thought the other part was the ill break. But, it wasn’t the obvious part, everybody kept going for the same break. That’s kinda something that’s always been in the back of my mind.
Nobody ever tried to flip that right?
Not that I know of. No one’s ever used that. And I brought back the main part to keep it familiar [hums break] ‘cause that’s the part everybody’s familiar with. So I kept that in there just to give it some familiarity, but used a different part of the record and we did it between my bus and my hotel room in Chicago.
What tour was this?
Roc The Mic.
With Jay and 50 right?
Yeah, Jay and 50. We just went to the bathroom, pause, and hung up some blankets from the hotel and we just did it straight like that. A lot of times when an artist is first starting an album they don’t want keep the earlier records ‘cause they still trying to get in their zone. So you know, it kinda just sat for a long time and then the dude that was kinda part of the extended family got tricked into giving it away. Demarco tricked him and he gave him the record and it leaked obviously. I was super mad at the time, just more so of the circumstances and because of what it could have been used for later. But the good thing about it leaking is if it hadn’t, Jay would’ve probably never realized how dope the song was.
The original version of the song has become notorious.
Exactly, ‘cause it’s like Where’s Waldo? Everybody’s trying to find the No DJ version. A couple people have the spliced No DJ version together, but none of them are really the official joint. So basically when it came time for Kingdom Come—the record was always in the back of my mind, but I just didn’t feel like it fit Kingdom Come. Looking back, you know obviously it should’ve been on the Black Album, and I kinda have an idea what song it should’ve replaced but I won’t say. But me and Jay both agree it should’ve been on there in place of another record that was on there. But, what’s done is done, but at least when it came time for this album, that’s one of the first things he wanted. When me and Jay first talked about the album, if nothing else, this song has to go on there. We both agreed that since people were familiar with the song in general that we got to switch it up a little bit. So the light bulb just went off, and I was like, “Yo, you gotta get Beans.” He was like, “What you mean?” “The first thing I’m a do is free Sigel. Boom. That’s where he needs to come in.” And then, we went and got Beans, he did his 16 or whatever it was, Jay just came back and finished it off.
Were you surprised with the Imus direction on the third verse?
I just didn’t know. Sometimes you just need someone of that stature. Jay-Z’s obviously not the first to say something. But “Scarface the movie did more than Scarface the rapper” deals with the way people crucify music. It’s not just hip-hop, it’s music in general. ‘Cause there was a phase where rock and heavy metal was getting the same treatment. If not worse. And it’s like, when it comes down to it, it’s all just different forms of entertainment. Obviously, we should be smart enough to realize that most of these rappers are not running around doing everything they portray on records. If you look back even on the original OG version of the song, he says something to the effect of “Believe half of what you see/Even if it’s spat by me.”
“And with that said I will kill niggas dead.”
Exactly. He’s telling you right there, like we going to paint the picture. But at the same time it’s something he can relate to very well cause he’s rhyming about where he comes from.
On the original version, he had the Beyonce verse on end which he started to do in concerts. How did that develop?
I know sometimes he would do it at shows, but it wasn’t with the “I Need Love” music yet. And then I think it was during the Fade To Black show, we was in rehearsals, and I honestly don’t remember exactly who’s idea it was, it coulda been mine, it coulda been Ahmir’s. But that’s when it came about in the rehearsals, like “You should flip “I Need Love” and do that verse over that.” We knew that he was going to get a strong reaction so that kinda became a staple of his shows. So we couldn’t go back and use that part on the record now after he’s done it a million times in public.
Yeah it’s funny cause he mentions B on that and on “PSA,” another song you did. Why is dude always mentioning his girl on your tracks?
I don’t know.
Maybe it’s the aggression of the song. [Laughs]
Sidebar: Peace to the homie Double O. Just found out last night dude was actually in attendance at my wedding back in summer of ’05. Small fuckin’ world.