Jay-Z to No I.D.: “God didn’t make you to work no job. God made you to make music.”
No I.D. sat down for a live conversation with Andrew Barber Monday night as part of Red Bull Music Festival Chicago 2018.
The legendary Chicago producer revealed how a conversation with Jay-Z about beats led to the making of the 4:44 album during, the album that he says turned him and Jay-Z from acquaintances to friends.
He talked about running into Hov at a Tidal event and how he asked him for beats.
“He was like, ‘Man, where are the butters at?’ I’m like ‘Huh?’ He’s like ‘The beats, the butters man, where are the beats?’ I’m like ‘Man, you know I got this job.’ He’s like ‘Job? Did you just say job?’… At the time I had this Def Jam thing. He’s like, ‘God didn’t make you to work no job. God made you to make music. You can’t never tell me you’re not making music because of a job.’
And every time we would see each other, fast forward to next time, he asked me what I’m working on. I was like, “Getting better.” He was like “What you mean?” I said, “I’m working on getting better, that’s what I’m working on.” He was like, “You don’t have any beats?” and I said, “No I’m working on getting better man. At beats and at life.” I didn’t bring the job up ever again.
All that lead to one day, I made 100 beats. I was trying to wax on wax off again. Then I made 500 beats like eureka! I’ve got a new style. He hits me like, “Hey man I need you to help me with this Vic Mensa.” And I go, “And I’ve got some beats now.” He’s like “yeah? Okay.” And I’m like, “Naw man, I’ve got some beats this time.” He’s like, “Yeah for sure.” I’m like, “Stop playing. I’ve really got your next Blueprint-esque thing. I know that’s a lot to say.” And he was like, “Yeah that’s a lot to say.”
The producer also revealed that the beats for 4:44 were initially developed from selections for a Vic Mensa album to the Jay-Z project we know today.
He also revealed a few more gems in the interview”
- How nearly formed a Rocafella sponsored production group with Bink, Just Blaze, and Kanye West.
- How Kanye West told him that he would disband G.O.O.D Music unless he became the label’s president.
- He refused to leave Chicago and talked about the struggles of building a career without an industry in the city and how that void pushed artists like Common to leave: “I could’ve left Chicago too, but…I’m really trying to do it from here because I built this studio, got this house and have these people. I had aspirations to build a real camp in Chicago and win but it wasn’t as easy and I thought.”
- How he seeks mentorship from role models like Quincy Jones and Stevie Wonder: “We see our greats pass on and we treat them bad until they die…but they are right here now and they will gladly tell you ¾ of what we don’t know and are trying to figure out.”
- On Cocaine 80s: “we’ve got three Cocaine 80s albums in the chambers. We are back off of hiatus.”
- He also revealed that he’s looking forward to executive producing for Atlanta rapper J.I.D.‘s album.
Watch the interview segment above.