In addition to producing both “December 4th” and “Interlude,” New Jersey producer Just Blaze was also responsible for laying down the musical foundation for The Black Album track, “Public Service Announcement.” But according to the producer, The Black Album was already turned in before he came across the inspiration for the roughly three-minute long song thanks to a good friend of his.
“The Black Album was done, it was handed in,” said Blaze, during an interview with Revolt TV. “My two contributions were ‘December 4th’ and the intro [‘Interlude’], which I was fine with. And we’re at Battery [Studios] mixing something. One of my best friends by the name Big Jack comes in the studio, ‘I got something you gotta hear.’ I put the headphones on and he puts this record on and all you heard was ‘doom-doom-doom-doom-doom’ and I’m just sitting there like ‘What is about to happen?’”
Just Blaze later revealed that he created the beat for the song in about 10 minutes and was able to submit the track to Jay Z the next day, which ironically was the same day the Brooklyn rapper was taking part in a handful of The Black Album listening sessions for the press.
“So, I made the ‘PSA’ beat in the headphones while the engineer was mixing one of the records we was working on,” he said. “I made the beat in like 10 minutes and I ran over to the studio and Jay had—around the corner, back to Baseline [Studios] and Jay had left already. So, the next day Jay’s doing listening sessions for the press for The Black Album…I’m like ‘Nah, you gotta come in here.’ And I play it and at first his reaction was just like and I’m like ‘Do you not hear what we’re all hearing?’”
Although Just Blaze says Jay Z didn’t exhibit much of a reaction upon hearing what would become the “Public Service Announcement” beat, he worked on the record in between meetings with the press, but ultimately scrapped everything he recorded for the record.
“In between hours of press he would come in, drop four bars, go do another press round, come back in drop four more bars, go to the press room, come back in scrap the first eight bars and just get a whole new eight bars and add four more bars, and go to the press room,” said the producer. “Which means as he’s doing the press he’s thinking about this beat in the back of his mind. Coming up with the song…By the end of the night he’s like ‘Alright, let me hear it.’ And he’s like ‘nah’ and he walks out. So, he comes in the next day. Spits the whole thing over in one take…Two or three weeks later we’re at the Garden and the entire arena knows the words.”
In a previous segment with Revolt TV, Just Blaze detailed the creation of “Interlude,” his other contribution to The Black Album. The beatsmith referred to the record as a “spacey,” laidback song.
“I wanted it to feel like spacey,” said Blaze while speaking with Revolt TV. “Like you were about to be on the verge of something different. I didn’t want the intro to be like super loud and boisterous. I wanted it to be something like you kinda just zoned out to.”