"I Get Around"--2Pac (1993)
“I never knew that 2Pac wanted that Digital Underground sound. I was surprised when he told me because I always thought of Pac as more aggressive. That’s how ‘I Get Around’ came about. Meanwhile, Pac had become a star. He’s down in LA shooting Poetic Justice with Janet Jackson. He’s doing his next album (Strictly 4 My NIGGAZ) with all of these other producers. He’s recording a song with Ice Cube and Ice T (‘Last Wordz’). He was doing his thizzle. Before we recorded ‘I Get Around,’ it was a four-track beat that was going around our camp. People would just freestyle over it. Every time we would play it people would say, ‘Damn, that shit sounds good!’
Meanwhile, I was working on Saafir’s album and when he heard the song he walked up to me and said, ‘Man, I would murder this track…I know you ain’t going to give this to Pac…I know you are going to keep it for Digital Underground.’ At the time, I was also set to be the person who scored this reality show about living on the streets. One of the songs I played for them was ‘I Get Around’ and we were going to use Saafir on the song. I was excited, but after I played them the beat in the reality show people were like, ‘We don’t know…it’s kind of pretty.’ In fact, there were other people who turned that song down! So right now I’m thinking it’s not even that big of a deal. Then Pac calls and tells me to send him some tracks for [Strictly 4 My NIGGAZ].
I put the beat to ‘I Get Around’ on the tape first because I thought it was the best of all the songs on there. But I didn’t think Pac would like it. I had some more rougher beats that I thought would fit him better. Later, I got a voice message from Pac saying, ‘Yes nigga…yes! I like the first beat…that’s what I’m talking about…that’s the one!’ We knew ‘I Get Around’ was going to be a hit just from the video shoot. We had done four years worth of videos by then, but everyone on the set was going crazy when they heard the song for the first time. Every musician on the set was walking up to me, ‘Dog, what did you use on this song? Is that a sample?’ I started it off by sampling Roger’s [‘Computer Love’]…that whole part where it goes, ‘You know I get around….’ That was the one to me because it had that fucking harmony. I just looped up that sample, added the transformer, and touched a few piano chords over it.
This was all before I added the drums. I always do my drums the same way. I finish everything else but the drums to see how everything moves…that’s how I figure out where to put the kick and the snare. During the ‘I Get Around’ session Pac laid down his verses first. He left a hole on the track and told Money B and me to write our verse while he was finishing up his vocals. I was drained, so I told Pac I was going to come back tomorrow and lay down my verse. But Pac was like, ‘I can’t wait…they are mastering my album tomorrow…it has to be done tonight.’
A messenger was in town to take the tape back on a plane to Interscope when we finished it, so Pac picks up a pad, walks away from me and he looks up in the air and writes some lines and looks up and writes a few more lines. I swear, less than two minutes he had my part on ‘I Get Around’ written. And it was dope! I was a little hesitant because back then you didn’t say other people’s rhymes…you wrote your own rhymes. And at the time I was engaged to this girl Melissa who I later married.
So how was I going to be the freak of the industry on this one? All that sex shit I was talking on the first two or three records was because I was single. I was chasing pussy. Now I’m in love and I have a wife on the way. I’m listening to Pac’s own verse and I’m like, ‘Damn, I don’t want to disrespect Melissa.’ Pac knew that. He had already thought about Melissa for me with that line, ‘Because I’m a freak doesn’t mean we can hit the sheets…’ Pac respected my relationship. When people come up to me they always say the satin in the panties line. I had one of the best in the business writing for me. If you had to have a ghostwriter why not 2Pac? And he would always hit me off with $30 grand per track. It was lovely. I wasn’t in the bathrooms when all the sex was jumping off during the shooting of ‘I Get Around.
Yeah, I did my thing at previous concerts and studio sessions. But Pac was on another level [laughs]. When we were on tour in Europe everyone would bring used condoms to the road managers’ room. Whoever had the most at the end of the tour got a pot of money. Everybody who didn’t fuck for that night had to put $100 in the pot. So over the course of the tour that pot was getting big. It was $4 grand by the end of the tour. And Pac and Money B would always win it [laughs]. Tommy Boy was pissed when they heard ‘I Get Around.’
They were like, ‘Shock…how could you give that track away?’ And I’m like, ‘What do you mean? It’s coming out on Pac’s album. He’s in our group.’ We sent that song to Tommy Boy just to say, ‘See…we can do songs without Humpty.’ I was so glad that it went down like that. Pac would always act like we were doing him a favor by producing ‘I Get Around’ because he was still a new artist. Even the label thanked us. But you never know when some little thing that you do for somebody is going to turn into something big.”