Memphis Bleek says his verse for "Coming of Age" was "all Jay's plan."
One of the more notable guest appearances on Jay Z's classic debut album Reasonable Doubt was from a 15-year-old emcee by the name of Memphis Bleek. While Bleek would eventually grow into a solo success, scoring a few hit singles of his own in the early 2000s, the rapper now confirms that his vocals on Jay's debut were entirely ghostwritten by his eventual label head.
“He had it already written," said Bleek in a new interview with VladTV. "That’s all Jay’s plan. Remember—Come on, I was 14, 15-years-old. You think [that] was my vision then? Yeah, I just read it and spit it myself. I don’t need a demo version. Come on, this is not ballet dancing. I know how to rhyme. All you gotta do is tell me what to say I’mma say it. So, that’s what it was. It just, you know, like I said it’s his album. It’s his record. He wanted it his way. And at the end of the day after that song went off I still had to do my thing.”
Bleek also took a moment to reflect on his relationship with Jay overall.
“Jay is like—You would say an older brother,” he said. “Like an uncle to me. Like that. Say he come through the projects or whatever and I’m in the building hustling, Jay the type of dude like ‘Yo, let me see what you got. You ain’t got nothing.’ Show ‘em the work. He’ll throw your shit away. Like ‘Yo, you better get out of here. I’mma tell your moms you hustling.’ He was the older dude that didn’t want that for us. You know what I’m saying? So, as far as relationships we didn’t hangout. I didn’t go to The Roxy with them or nothing like that back then. It was just like older brother, little brother relationship. And then like once I told him I knew how to rhyme it was just all she wrote from there. It was like ‘Why not help the little guy from my building?’”