Let me go back to the beginning: I sat in my studio one night at the start of the process of writing this book, trying to decide which songs to include. Throughout the night, different people came through the studio, including some of the people I’ve worked with closest throughout my career—my engineer, Young Guru; Memphis Bleek; Pharrell; Steve Stoute; dream hampton; and others. I was taking a break from finishing up the Blueprint 3 album, and hung out there for hours while people came and went, playing songs and telling stories, some of which made it into this book.
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Memphis Bleek told his side of the story of how we worked together on “Coming of Age,” Young Guru remembered that moving moment when Scarface rewrote his verses for “This Can’t Be Life,” Steve told us about how young corporate guys he knew were psyching themselves up for business meetings by listening to “Public Service Announcement” (and dream remembered the Dave Chappelle “When ‘Keeping It Real’ Goes Wrong” bit where a character did the same thing and got fired).
(read more at RapRadar)
About Jay-Z’s “Lost Ones”:
// My nephew died in the car I bought  / So I’m under the belief it’s partly my fault / Close my eyes and squeeze, try to block that thought / Place any burden on me, but please, not that lord / Time don’t go back, it go forward  / Can’t run from the pain, go towards it  / Some things can’t be explained, what caused it? / Such a beautiful soul, so pure, shit / Gonna see you again, I’m sure of it / Until that time, little man I’m nauseous / Your girlfriend’s pregnant, the lord’s gift / Almost lost my faith, that restored it  / It’s like having your life restarted / Can’t wait for your child’s life, to be a part of it / So now I’m childlike, waiting for a gift / To return, when I lost you, I lost it // Lose one, let go to get one / Left one, lose some to win some [Colleek, I lost one] / Sorry I’m a champion, Colleek, you’re a champion / I lost one /
5 This echoes the sentiment in another song mourning a loved one lost in a car crash. In “Lucifer” my fantasy is to reverse the crash / reverse the blast / reverse the day / and there you are. Here I force myself to avoid that fantasy and come to grips with the truth, that time only moves forward, no matter how painful it is.
(read more at NYMag)