Lenny Santiago, Vice President of A&R for Def Jam, had the privilege of witnessing Jay-Z and Kanye West record their new album Watch the Throne. Speaking with MTV News, Lenny S. explained that he specifically enjoyed watching the duo work with Pharrell Williams in the studio to lay down some music.
“It was real dope, about that picture and just about that day, period. It felt like old Roc-A-Fella, Baseline days and obviously Jay, Kanye, P came through,” he recalled. “At that time, they were in two different spaces, just on some… ‘Ye was just a producer at the time, wasn’t rapping yet. P on production as well. Now, ‘Ye being an artist, I was there, one of the A&Rs for Roc-A-Fella, Hip Hop, was there. […] That day alone felt real. I remember Jay and ‘Ye just making note of that.”
He also noted Hov’s unique writing method of constructing rhymes in his head while listening to a beat.
“A lot of times, when Jay writes or doesn’t write, that’s how he writes. With his arms on the board, bobbing his head,” he explained. “That’s literally Jay’s way of writing, which is so ill and dope if you ever have the honor and pleasure of being there. Witness that, and just nodding, grooving to the joint.”