Last week, Jay-Z made a triumphant return to the forefront of the hip-hop discourse with an awe-inspiring verse on the title track from DJ Khaled’s new album God Did. For nearly four minutes, Jay flexes, reflects, proselytizes, and educates listeners with stunning wordplay and bodacious boasts which had rap fans on Twitter blown away.
On the day of the single’s release, Genius’ Rob Markman posted several clips from an extended discussion he had with Jay-Z’s longtime engineer Young Guru about the song’s creation. In the course of the discussion, Guru breaks down the hidden meanings behind some of the lines, which he says have multiple levels. Beyond just being clever puns, he says, Jay also makes references to the workings of his inner circle which only his closest associates are meant to catch.
— Rob Markman (@RobMarkman) August 26, 2022
Of course, fans wanted more, prompting Markman to ponder dropping the full video, which he did yesterday.
— Rob Markman (@RobMarkman) August 27, 2022
Naturally, the extended cut is home to even more gems, as Guru explains how recording this Jay-Z verse was different than ever before. While it has long been known that the Brooklyn rapper doesn’t write his raps and often records them in one take, Guru says he was floored by Jay’s hunger to lay this one down.
“This one was different because normally, we’ll sit down, we’ll do a song, its three verses, two verses or whatever, and he’ll have a verse and then we’ll figure out what’s next,” he says. “He’s spitting the verse to me — one take. He’s literally asking me, ‘Guru, put the beat on.’ I’m like, ‘Khaled didn’t send me the beat. You didn’t send me the beat. Send me the beat.’ So then he sends me the joint and I started trying to loop it. He was just like, ‘No, no, no, hit Khaled and get the whole instrumental,’ so he could spit the whole verse.”
You can watch the full talk in the video above.