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[Intro: Jay-Z (Kanye)] [laughing] Yo fuck you, Kanye, first and foremost For making me do this shit. Muh'fucker Had to throw everybody out the motherfucking room 'Cause they don't fucking.. (I'd like to propose a toast) (I said toast motherfucker) [Chorus: Kanye] And I am (here's to the roc) And they ask me, they ask me, they ask me, I tell them (here's to Rocafella) Raise your glasses, your glasses, your glasses to the sky (here's to the roc) This is the last call for alcohol, for the... (here's to Rocafella) So get your ass up off the wall [Verse 1] The all around the world Digital Underground, Pac The Rudloph the red nosed reindeer of the Roc I take my chain, my 15 seconds of fame And come back next year with the whole fucking game Ain't nobody expect Kanye to end up on top They expected that College Dropout to drop and then flop Then maybe he stop savin' all the good beats for himself Rocafella's only niggaz that help My money was thinner than Sean Paul's goatee hair Now Jean Paul Gaultier cologne fill the air, here They say he bourgie, he big-headed Won't you please stop talking about how my dick head is Flow infectious, give me 10 seconds I'll have a buzz bigger than insects in Texas It's funny how wasn't nobody interested 'Til the night I almost killed myself in Lexus [Chorus] [Verse 2] Now was Kanye the most overlooked? Yes sir Now is Kanye the most overbooked? Yes sir Though the fans want the feeling of A Tribe Called Quest But all they got left is this guy called West Better take Freeway, throw him on tracks with Mos Def Call him Kwa-lI or Kwe-li, I put him on songs with Jay-Z I'm the Gap like Banana Republic and Old Navy, and oooh It come out sweeter than old Sadie Nice as Bun-B when I met him at the Source awards Girl he had with him - ass coulda won the horse awards And I was almost famous, now everybody loves Kanye I'm almost Raymond' Some say he arrogant. Can y'all blame him? It was straight embarrassing how y'all played him Last year shoppin my demo, I was tryin' to shine Every motherfucker told me that I couldn't rhyme Now I could let these dream killers kill my self-esteem Or use my arrogance as the steam to power my dreams I use it as my gas, so they say that I'm gassed But without it I'd be last, so I ought to laugh So I don't listen to the suits behind the desk no more You niggaz wear suits 'cause you can't dress no more You can't say shit to Kanye West no more I rocked 20,000 people, I was just on tour, nigga I'm Kan, the Louis Vuitton Don Bought my mom a purse, now she Louis Vuitton Mom I ain't play the hand I was dealt, I changed my cards I prayed to the skies and I changed my stars I went to the malls and I balled too hard 'Oh my god, is that a Black Card?' I turned around and replied, why yes but I prefer the term African American Express Brains, power, and muscle, like Dame, Puffy, and Russell Your boy back on his hustle, you know what I've been up to Killin y'all niggaz on that lyrical shit Mayonnaise colored Benz, I push Miracle Whips [Chorus] "... last call for alcohol, for my niggaz" [Outro] So this A&R over at Rocafella, named Hiphop picked the Truth beat for Beanie. And I was in the session with him I had my demo with me. You know, like I always do I play the songs, he's like "Who that spittin?" I'm like "It's me." He's like "Oh, well okay." Uhh, he started talkin to me on the phone going back and forth, just askin me to send him beats And I'm thinking he's trying to get into managing producers cause he had this other kid named Just Blaze he was messin with And um, he was friends with my mentor, No ID And No ID told him, "look man, you wanna mess with Kanye you need to tell him that you like the way he rap" [No ID:] "Yo, you wanna sign him, tell him you like how he rap" I was all, I dunno if he was gassin' me or not but he's like he wanna manage me as a rapper AND a producer [Hiphop:] "I'll sign you as a producer and a rapper", I'm like oh shit I was messin with, uh, D-Dot also People were like this, started talking about the Ghost production But that's how I got in the game. If it wasn't for that, I wouldn't be here So you know. After they picked that Truth beat I was figuring I was gonna do some more work But shit just went poppin off like that. I was stayin in Chicago I had my own apartment. I be doin' like, just beats for local acts just to try to keep the lights on, and then to go out and buy get a Pelle Pelle off lay-away, get some Jordans or something or get a TechnoMarine, that's what we wore back then I made this one beat where I sped up this Hal Melville sample I played it for Hip over the phone, he's like "oh, yo that shit is crazy Jay might want it for this compilation album he doin, called The Dynasty." And at that time, like the drums really weren't soundin' right to me so I went and um, I was listening to Dre Chronic 2001 at that time and really I just, like picked the drums off Xxplosive and put it like with it sped up, sampled, and now it's kind of like my whole style when it started, when he rapped on 'This Can't be Life.' And that was like, really the first beat of that kind that was on the Dynasty album I could say that was the, the resurgence of this whole sound You know, I got to come in and track the beat, and at the time I was still with my other management. I really wanted to roll with Hiphop. 'Cause I, I just needed some fresh air, you know what I'm sayin, 'cause I been there for a while, I appreciated what they did for me, but, you know there's a time in every man's life where he gotta make a change, try to move up to the next level. And that day I came and I tracked the beat and I got to meet Jay-Z and he said, "oh you a real soulful dude" [Jay-Z: "you a real soulful dude"]. And he uh, played the song 'cause he already spit his verse by the time I got to the studio, you know how he do it, one take. And he said [Jay-Z:] "check this out, tell me what you think of this, right here" "tell me what you think of this." And I heard it, and I was thinking like, man, I really wanted more like of the simple type Jay-Z, I ain't want like the, the more introspective, complicated rhy- or the, in my personal opinion. So he asked me, "what you think of it?" [Jay-Z:] "so what you thinkin?" And I was like, "man that shit tite," you know what I'm sayin', man what I'ma tell him? I was on the train man, you know. So after that I went back home. And man I'm, I'm just in Chicago, I'm trying to do my thing. You know, I got groups. I got acts I'm trying to get on, and like there wasn't nothin really like poppin' off the way it should have been. One of my homeys that was one of my artists, he got signed. But it was supposed to really go through my production company, but he ended up going straight with the company. So, like I'm just straight holdin' the phone, gettin' the bad news that dude was tryin' to leave my company. And I got evicted at the same time. So I went down and tracked the beats from him, I took that money, came back, packed all my shit up in a U-Haul, maybe about ten days before I had to actually get out. So I ain't have to deal with the landlord 'cause he's a jerk. Me and my mother drove to [Mother:] "Come on, let's just go" Newark, New Jersey. I hadn't even seen my apartment. I remember I pulled up [Mother:] "Kanye, baby, we're here", I unpacked all my shit. You know, we went to Ikea, I bought a bed, I put the bed together myself. I loaded up all my equipment, and the first beat I made was, uh, 'Heart of the City.' And Beans was still working on his album at that time, so I came up there to Baseline, it was Beans' birthday, matter of fact, and I played like seven beats. And, you know I could see he's in the zone he already had the beats that he wanted, I did nothing like already at that time. But then Jay walked in. I remember he had a GuccI bucket hat on. I remember it like, like it was yesterday. And Hiphop said "yo play that one beat for him." And I played 'Heart of the City.' And really I made 'Heart of the City,' I really wanted to give that beat to DMX. [Hiphop:] "No I think Jay gon' like this one right here". And I played another beat, and I played another beat. And I remember that GuccI bucket, he took it and like put it over his face and made one of them faces like 'OOOOOOOOOOH.' Two days later I'm in Baseline and I seen Dame. Dame didn't know who I was and I was like "yo what's up I'm Kanye." [Dame:] "Yo, you that kid, Kanye?" "You that kid that gave all them beats to Jay? Yo, this nigga got classics" [Dame:] "Jay got classics, G." You know I ain't talkin shit. I'm like "oh shit." And all this time I'm starstruck, man. I'm still thinking 'bout, you know I'm picturing these niggaz on the show The Streets is Watching, I'm lookin, these were superstars in my eyes. And they still are, you know. So, Jay came in and he spit all these songs like in one day, and in two days... I gotta bring up one thing, you know, come back to the story, the day I did the 'Can't be Life' beat on track, I remember Lenny S, he had some Louis Vuitton sneakers on, he think he fly. And Hiphop was there, I think Tata, John Minnelli, a bunch of people. I didn't know all these people at the time they was in the room, and I said, "yo Jay I could rap." And I spit this rap that said, uh "I'm killin y'all niggaz on that lyrical shit. Mayonnaise colored Benz, I push miracle whips." And I saw his eyes light up when I said that line. But you know the West, the rap was like real wack and shit, so that's all the response. He said "man that was tite." [Jay-Z:] "That, that was cool. That was hot." That was it. You know, I ain't get no deal then, hehe. Okay, fast forward. So, Blueprint, H to the Izzo, my first hit single. And I just took that proudly, built relationships with people. My relationship with KwelI I think was one of the best ones to ever happen to my career as a rapper. Because, you know, of course later he allowed me to go on tour with him. Man, I appre-- I love him for that. And at this time, you know I didn't have a deal, I had songs, and I had relationships with all these A&R's, and they wanted beats from me, so they'd call me up, I'd play them some beats. "Gimme a beat that sound like Jay-Z." You know, they dick riders. Whatever. So I'll play them these post-Blueprint beats or whatever and then I'll play my shit. I'll be like, "yo but I rap too." Hey, I guess they was lookin' at me crazy 'cause you know, 'cause I ain't have a jersey on or whatever Everybody out there listen here. I played them 'Jesus Walks' and they didn't sign me. You know what happened, it was some A&R's that fucked with me though, but then like the heads, it'd be somebody at the company that'll say "naw." Like, Dave LottI fucked with me, my nigga Mel brought me to a bunch of labels. Jessica Rivera, man [Jessica:] "Man, you niggaz is stupid if y'all don't sign Kanye, for real." I'm not gonna say nothin to mess my promotion up "Y'all niggaz is stupid". Let's just say I didn't get my deal. The nigga that was behind me, I mean, he wasn't even a nigga, you know? The person who actually kicked everything off was Joe 3H from Capitol Records. He wanted to sign me really bad. [Joe:] "We gonna change the game, buddy." Dame was like, "yo you got a deal with Capitol, okay man, just make sure it's not wack." [Dame:] "you gotta make sure it's not wack." Then one day I just went ahead and played it, I wanted to play some songs, 'cause you know Cam was in the room, Young Guru, and Dame was in the room. So I played... actually it's a song that you'll never hear, but maybe I might use it. So, it's called 'Wow.' "I go to Jacob with 25 thou, you go with 25 hundred, wow I got eleven plaques on my walls right now You got your first gold single, damn, nigga, wow." Like the chorus went. Don't bite that chorus, I might still use it. So I play that song for him, and he's like "oh shit" [Dame:] "Oh shit it's not even wack." "I ain't gonna front, it's kinda hot." [Dame:] "it's actually kinda hot." Like they still weren't looking at me like a rapper. And I'm sure Dame figured, 'like man. If he do a whole album, if his raps is wack at least we can throw Cam on every song and save the album, you know. So uh Dame took me into the office, and he's like "yo man, we, we on a brick, we on a brick" [Dame:] "you don't wanna catch a brick" You gotta be under an umbrella, you'll get rained on. I told Hiphop and Hiphop was all, "oh, word?" Actually, even with that I was still about to take the deal with Capitol 'cause it was already on the table and 'cause of my relationship with 3H. That, you know, 'cause I told him I was gonna do it, and I'm a man of my word, I was gonna roll with what I said I was gonna do. Then, you know, I'm not gonna name no names, but people told me, "oh he's just a producer rapper" and told 3H that told the heads of the Capitol, and right-- the day I'm talking about, I planned out everything I was gonna do man, I had picked out clothes, I already started booking studio sessions, I started arranging my album, thinking of marketing schemes man I was ready to go. And they had Mel call me, they said "yo... Capitol pulled on the deal" [Mel:] "Yo, Capitol pulled out on the deal." And, you know I told them that Rocafella was interested and I don't know if they thought that was just something I was saying to gas them up to try to push the price up or whatever. I went up... I called G, I said, "man, you think we could still get that deal with Rocafella?"

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