Jay-Z Recalls Tiffs With Kanye West & Timbaland With BBC Radio 1
Jay-Z interviews don’t happen often, but when they do, they seem to come all at once. After appearing on Hot 97 and Power 105.1 respectively last week, Jay-Z sat down with BBC Radio 1’s Zane Lowe for an in-depth conversation at London’s Abbey Road Studios.
The first part of the hour-long interview focused on two of Jay’s closest collaborators: Kanye West and Timbaland. Hov recalled an argument he had with Kanye — which lasted an astonishing four days — over the placement of ‘Holy Grail’ and ‘Oceans.’ He wanted to keep the two tracks for his next solo album, whereas Ye insisted on using them for ‘Watch the Throne.’
Soon as I thought we had wrapped up ‘Watch the Throne,’ I had two records, I had ‘Holy Grail’ and I had ‘Oceans.’ I played those records for Kanye and he was like, “NO! Those have to go on ‘Watch the Throne’!” So we spent four days arguing about those records and I was explaining to him why it wasn’t right for this project. I had a whole idea of making this album called ‘Magna Carta Holy Grail’ — the name came later… Literally arguing for four days — not like fighting — well, there was some pushing at one point, but not between us. Everyone else got a little excited.
Although Timbaland played an integral part in the making of Jay-Z’s ‘Magna Carta… Holy Grail,’ producing well over half of the record, things weren’t all rosy between the rapper and the producer in the years prior to the album’s release. Hov explained that the pair fell out after the release of his 2009 LP, ‘The Blueprint 3.’
The fallout happened at the end of ‘The Blueprint 3.’ It really happened the way the album happened; a couple songs were getting leaked and that was his song, and it just ruined the whole process. Kanye, who was the executive producer of ‘Blueprint 3,’ was like, “Yo, let’s get Tim!” We were all inviting to him and he just wasn’t accepting of the process. It seemed like it was more about him than the actual album.
However, time healed all wounds between the two and Jay said Timbo put his ego aside and matured as a person.
After those concerts and he came back, I’d seen the new Timbaland; he had this maturity and this growth that I was like, “Okay, this is gonna work out.”
Watch part one of the interview below.