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 albumÂ Reasonable DoubtÂ 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 onÂ Jay's debut were entirely ghostwritten by his eventual label head.
âHe had it already written," said Bleek in a new interview with VladTV. "Thatâs all Jayâs plan. RememberâCome on, I was 14, 15-years-old. You think [that] was my vision then? Yeah, I just read it and spit it myself. I donât 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 Iâmma say it. So, thatâs what it was. It just, you know, like I said itâs his album. Itâs 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.â
Bleek also took a moment to reflect on his relationship with Jay overall.
âJay is likeâYou would say an older brother,â he said. âLike an uncle to me. Like that. Say he come through the projects or whatever and Iâm in the building hustling, Jay the type of dude like âYo, let me see what you got. You ainât got nothing.â Show âem the work. Heâll throw your shit away. Like âYo, you better get out of here. Iâmma tell your moms you hustling.â He was the older dude that didnât want that for us. You know what Iâm saying? So, as far as relationships we didnât hangout. I didnât 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 âWhy not help the little guy from my building?ââ