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Snippet of BackStory with Colby Colb: Jay-Z: The Making of a Business Man

From Audio: Jay-Z: The Making Of A Business Man

Duration: 03:42
Colby Colb tells the story of Jay-Z's career, in this snippet he talks about how Jay-Z was unlike any other rapper he'd seen before.
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Colby Colb tells the story of Jay-Z's career, in this snippet he talks about how Jay-Z was unlike any other rapper he'd seen before.
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fast forward to the summer of 1995. Biggie was a superstar in the East Coast with Puff having his back. Tupac was in jail and couldn't come up with the bail, and he was stuck in jail in upstate New York. Jay Z releases his first single in my lifetime, and so, as a first time single, they worked at radio. I remember hearing it. I really didn't care for the song. But then I saw the video. And again there was something about Jay Z because this guy, like, was not like most up and coming artists. I mean, first of all, most New York M. C. S. It would be posse videos with a bunch of dudes not in their heads with Tim's on baggy clothes dreads. And it wasn't a lot of women. It would be drinking forties. But here's this guy. He was in ST Thomas on yachts with beautiful women drinking like crystal and not 40 ounces in the bag. I mean, this guy and his crew was different, and, you know, we would all sit back and like, who is this guy? Because everybody knew to this day it's kind of the same way most rappers are broke. But this guy was rolling in this lavish lifestyle and unlike any other rapper and then he was kind of talking at the same time. After I saw the video, I really started to kind of get into the song and listening to the lyrics. And, you know, this one line just kind of got me While *** is shooting stupid I'm carefully plotting ways to make it rotten Well, playing hits until you long for gotten y'all *** that utilize my style Don't hurt me because on the low half of these wrapping ass *** wanna work for me you gotta laugh out loud Like who the hell is this guy? Said most rappers at that time and I'm sure they never saw him coming. My first Jay Z interview was 10 months before reasonable doubts Release. Dame and Jay were on the East Coast run to meet all the DJs and they came to the station and I'll never forget this in twin Lexus GS coops. Now I'm a car guy. And let me tell you, they came through New York plates tended up, rimmed up. Actually, several months later, J used these cars in the dead presidents video. So if you go to YouTube and pull up the dead presidents, you will see the car that I'm talking about now, of course, when they pulled up, the trunk was full of their records because that's how they promoted when they went up and down the East Coast. So why am I dwelling on the cars? In those days? Onley. The biggest artists would have, like the fancy cars for up and coming artists with no hit record. Yet it was surprising to see a flashy whip. I remember the year prior to this Keith Murray showing up at the station and his Lexus SC 400 that was in his first video for the most beautiful list thing in the world. You can google that as well and see the video and you'll see the car that I'm talking about or an established artist like Busta Rhymes. I remember him coming to the station in a big body Benz coupe with the Phyllis rims ever on the other side. One time Chuck D came to the station in an old Ford Bronco, but the system he had was like being at a concert. So again I'm dwelling on these cars. But I really wanted to paint the picture of hip hop at that time and again goto YouTube and get the video and you'll see these cars that I'm talking about. So I interviewed a lot of artists on radioactive, especially new independent artists. But Jay Z really stood out. I remember them coming into the station there, which is so confident as they entered the studio like they were stupid stars Dame right next to him, their whole team, and they were just like, focused. So this is my first official time meeting, Jay Z. And actually, he was kind of nervous for the interview. Um, they were new to radio promotion at that point. But who knew that night that he would do a freestyle over Raekwon epic criminology beat that would end up going viral 15 years later and considered one of his best freestyles
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