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Jay Rock Snags Lil Wayne, Ne-Yo for ‘Follow Me Home’

Jay Rock doesn’t release his album, “Follow Me Home,” until early ’09, but the Watts, Calif.-bred rapper already has collaborations in the can with Will.i.am, Lil Wayne, Trey Songz and Ne-Yo. He chalks it up to one simple task.

“Just networking,” Rock said during an interview with The BoomBox at a Scottsdale, Ariz., hotel. “I might catch them at a club, you know what I’m saying. Since I got a deal, I’ve been traveling a lot of places.”

In the case of Lil Wayne, who appears with Will.I.Am on the first single, “All My Life (Ghetto),” Rock met Lil Wayne as he exited a show at Universal Studios.

“I said to him, ‘Yo. I’m Jay Rock — the hottest thing out there.’ I asked him right then, ‘I’d like to work with you some day.’ He said, ‘Whatever. All you have to do is give me a call. I’m a phone call away.’ He was being real.”
Rock soon realized that “All My Life” was the track for Lil Wayne. “I was telling all my boys, ‘I’m gonna get Wayne on this,’” the animated Rock said. “They’re like, ‘Right.’ I’m like, ‘Watch.’ So I gave him a call (and said) ‘I want you to jump on this track.’ He was way on the East Coast for a couple shows. I didn’t want to do the e-mailing stuff. He wanted me to send it to him. I’m like, ‘No man. I’m going to come to you.’ I bought me and my boys a plane ticket and flew out there to DC. I gave him a call, rode right up to his tour bus and I knocked on the tour bus. We went to a studio and it was real crazy.”

He encountered Will.i.am while mixing songs at Record Plant Recording Studios, a renowned studio center in New York City. “He’s really shy. He’s a real eccentric dude,” Rock said. “They real humble.”

Also on his collaboration wish list — Busta Rhymes and Scarface. But for now, the buzz surrounding Rock has generated more than 7 million views on his MySpace page, www.myspace.com/jayrock.

“Every time I think about that, I’m like, ‘Man, that’s crazy,’” Rock said. “I ain’t expect that much people to pay attention or listen to me coming out of Watts. It’s a beautiful thing.”

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