About twelve years ago, Jay-Z began his Blueprint series with Just Blaze and Young Guru among the trusted few by his side. Recently, Just and Gu sat down to talk about their work while making the disc with Blaze admitting that some of the beats Jay selected weren’t necessarily made with Jigga in mind.

“The only joint that preexisted was ‘Girls, Girls, Girls,’ which I had been holding for Ghostface [Killah]. The protools session was called ‘Ghostface.’ And I remember, when I first started the first version of “U Don’t Know,” Busta [Rhymes] happened to come by and was like, ‘I need this!’ I was like, ‘Let me get back. I’m not sure what I want to do.’ I knew it had the potential to be something explosive.” 

The pair also discussed the making of “Song Cry,” and how much the beat changed from when Jay-Z laid his vocals to when the finished track was revealed.  

“You finished the first way and I was like, ‘This dude is a genius,'” Young Guru said to Blaze. “I think Jay walked in, he heard the beat and he laid the rhyme that night just immediately. That’s how fast we was doing the Blueprint joints. He laid the rhyme that night. And you worked on the record that night. I have never seen…How many chops was on that?” he asked.

“96,” Blaze responded.

“It was in one form, a basic form for the emcee to say the rhyme,” Young Guru continued. “Then, the long intro and all the different changes came so by the time Jay came back the next day, it completely sounded different. What’s on the album is completely different from what he laid the rhyme to.” 

According to Just Blaze, Jay-Z took that moment to call several unnamed producers who he was “cool with” to tell them, “You’re good but Just Blaze is a genius.” Blaze says other producers were mad at him at the time for that. Young Guru added that Blaze’s other beats for Blueprint were made that weekend. 

More from the pair can be seen below, courtesy of HardknockTV

The original Blueprint was released September 11, 2001. The album was followed by a double-disc, 2002’s The Blueprint 2: The Gift & The Curse and later 2009’s The Blueprint 3

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