The Blueprint sessions: (2001) “Girls, Girls, Girl’s,” “U Don’t Know,” “Song Cry”—Jay-Z
“The interesting thing about The Blueprint is… as heralded as it is, it really just started with Jay walking in the studio and asking, ‘Hey, does anybody have some beats?’ The majority of those tracks was recorded in three days. I think he went in on a Friday and by Monday he had nine songs done. But those three or four days spent putting that musical framework together shaped the sound of hip-hop for so many years, which is kind of bugged out.
I was aware that “U Don’t Know” was special, but I didn’t know how special it would become. I just knew it was the direction we needed for the album. From the moment I heard the sample, it was clear we had something. I felt the same way about “Girls, Girls, Girls” and “Song Cry.” It’s a great feeling to have Jay rhyme on one of your tracks. He’s one of the best to ever do it and he’s pretty consistent with his greatness. So half the time I can already hear his voice on the record before he touches it. When we get in the studio you never know what’s going to happen.
Over the last couple of years, our schedules haven’t lined up the way they used to. That’s one thing that I miss. Because when we were working on those first albums like The Blueprint, Blueprint 2, The Black Album and all of that, everybody was under the same roof. But since then everybody has grown up and has taken on different lifestyles and responsibilities. I miss making a beat and having Jay right in the next room. Sometimes you wish that you could get a week and rock out like we used to. But you never know… that may happen.”