The other week I heard the original version of Jay-Z’s “Dig A Hole”. The thing that was surprising is that beat that was used was from Fabolous’ “Return Of The Hustle”. While this kind of thing is common in rap music, it made me remember other times Jay-Z had passed on beats only for them to be used by other rappers. Here are a few that I could recall.
Skipped Beat: Ludacris “The Potion” (2004)
Proof: “In Studio With Timbaland” (from Fade To Black)
Reason: In the Jay-Z’s concert movie Fade To Black, a chubby Timbaland plays a surplus of beats for an unimpressed Jigga. In those beats, the third one played was the beat that later became Luda’s “The Potion”.
Results: Was it a good choice? Shit, the beat Jay-Z did pick turned of out to be “Dirt Of Your Shoulders”. Great choice.
Skipped Beat: Fabolous “Return Of The Hustle” (2007)
Proof: Jay-Z “Dig A Hole” (original version)
Producer: Just Blaze
Reason: Rumor has it, as Jay-Z was recording Kingdom Come, he originally picked out Just’s beat for “Dig A Hole”. He eventually went with the Swizz Beatz produced version. Recently, the original version of “Dig A Hole” was leaked online complete with a never before heard third verse.
Results: I actually liked the original version better with the Just Blaze beat. The one on the album wasn’t bad but the weird Sterling Simms’ hook was kinda annoying.
Skipped Beat: Slim Thug feat. Bun-B & Pharrell “I Ain’t Heard Of That” (2005)
Proof: Slim Thug feat. Jay-Z “I Ain’t Heard Of That (Change Clothes remix)”
Producer: The Neptunes
Reason: An earlier version of this song leaked and had Hova doing the hook and last verse. When the official version dropped, Jay was no where to be found. In an interview Slim Thug later revealed that the song was originally Jay-Z’s song and Slim Thug added his verses, and the reason Jay wasn’t on the final version is because Hova never signed off on it.
Results: Well, even though they added Bun-B to the final version of “I Ain’t Heard Of That”, it still paled in comparison to the Jay-Z featured one.
Skipped Beat: Joe Budden “Pump It Up” (2003)
Proof: Jay-Z “Pump It Up Freestyle”
Producer: Just Blaze
Reason: Once again, Hova passed on another Just Blaze beat. Well, he also got it back when he freestyled over it for his S. Cater Collection mixtape. The rhymes were some of Jay-Z’s best; “Mike Jordan of the mic recordin, Hovi baby, you Kobe maybe, Tracy McGrady, matter fact you Harold Miner, J.R. Rider, washed up on marijuana, even worse you a Pervis Ellis you worthless fella, you ain’t no athlete you Shawn Bradley.”
Results: Damn Joe Budden, once people heard Jay-Z freestyle over “Pump It Up”, did anyone really want to hear your version again?