Kiss of Death → Jadakiss (2004)
“I was still on Interscope/Ruff Ryders on this one. Before we started recording Kiss of Death there was a song that was in my head called ‘Why.’ I just wanted to ask the questions that people could relate to. The hard part about it was coming up with questions that the whole world could ask. I didn’t want to make just a New York song. I was trying to go global with this song. I was getting close to the album being finished and Havoc had sent me some beats. When I heard that track I knew it was the one. I needed a beat that wasn’t too cluttered. I wanted my words to be heard. I came with some real questions and one of them (questioning whether or not the US government was responsible for the fall of the Twin Towers) was very controversial.
I was watching the news a lot and there was a lot of people who thought the same thing. I knew it was going to catch people’s ears. The public stereotypes us as gangsta rappers, but when I hit them with ‘Why’ it was like a left jab out of nowhere. I even wanted it to reach ol’ boy George W. But not enough to become the enemy of the state [laughs]. But I knew if I could get the President to say my name that would be a milestone for me. Having Bill O’Reilly come at me, getting nominated for a Grammy, and winning a VIBE award was all beautiful. ‘Why’ turned out to be my biggest song.
The track (‘Welcome To D Block’) with Eminem came about because of my Interscope love. Jimmy Iovine and Ruff Ryders reached out to Em, who was a big fan of mines. Em even called me and told me that he really felt what I was doing, so that was beautiful and mutual. He wanted to produce the beat and as get on the song. Of course I said, ‘Cool.’ I loved that joint.”