Swizz had teased an appearance from Hov prior to the track’s release last week as part of his new Hip Hop 50: Vol. 2 EP. “SWIZZ X WAYNE X HOV [siren emojis] THIS SHIT RIGHT HERE,” he wrote on Instagram while sharing a cinematic trailer for the seemingly heavyweight collaboration.
But when the project arrived on streaming services, fans were disappointed to discover the Roc Nation mogul was nowhere to be heard. (Other features on the EP from Nas, Jay Electronica and Benny The Butcher surely helped soften the blow.)
During a Twitter Spaces conversation with TIDAL’s Elliott Wilson, Swizz Beatz explained that the “feature” was merely a freestyle JAY-Z had spit on tour back in 2007 or 2008 before performing his Black Album classic “Public Service Announcement.”
“I had [that freestyle] in my files as Jay vocals,” Swizz said.
“So you didn’t have a Jay verse on that joint — you just were playing with us?” Wilson replied. “‘Cause everybody got excited, you know how the internet is.”
“Shit, I got excited too!” Swizz said, adding that fans should be happy it was at least the “real Hov” and not AI-generated vocals, regardless of how old the sample is.
“That’s him him, so I’m like, ‘Why can’t we say it’s him?’ It is him on the song,” he said in defense.
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While fans may have been disappointed that the track wasn’t a lyrical showdown between two Hip Hop legends, Swizz Beatz has worked with both JAY-Z and Lil Wayne in the past.
Swizz most notably linked with Hov on 1998’s “Money, Cash, Hoes,” 1999’s “Jigga My N-gga” and 2009’s “On to the Next One,” while he connected with Weezy on Tha Carter V track “Uproar” as well as his latest single “Kant Nobody,” which is set to appear on the sixth installment in his iconic Tha Carter series.
JAY-Z and Lil Wayne, meanwhile, have previously sparred on “Mr. Carter,” “Hello Brooklyn 2.0,” “Swagga Like Us,” and most recently DJ Khaled’s “God Did,” which they performed together at the 2023 Grammys in February.
Despite its lack of a full-fledged Hov feature, Swizz Beatz’s Hip Hop 50: Vol. 2 EP was still a star-studded affair thanks to more cameos from Lil Durk, Jadakiss, Fivio Foreign, A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie and more.