Jay-Z: Kanye And I Argued For Four Days Over 'Magna Carta' Songs

07/15/2013 09:03 am ET

Two of Jay-Z's big collaborations on "Magna Carta Holy Grail" almost didn't make it onto the album.

In a recent interview with BBC's Radio 1, the 43-year-old rapper spoke about the early stages of "Magna Carta," explaining that he began recording for the album immediately after his 2011 collaboration album with Kanye West, "Watch the Throne."

"We had this whole plan when me and Kanye did [the] 'Watch The Throne' album that we would go right into our solos after that," Jay-Z told BBC's Radio One. "Soon as I thought we had wrapped up 'Watch the Throne,' I made two records -- I had 'Holy Grail' and 'Oceans.'"

While "Holy Grail" and "Oceans" now appear on Jay-Z's "Magna Carta Holy Grail" as collaborations with Justin Timberlake and Frank Ocean, respectively, if West had had his way, the songs would've been used for something that he was a part of.

"I played those records for Kanye," Jay-Z explained. "And he was like, 'No, those have to go on 'Watch the Throne.'"

West's suggestion reportedly did not sit well with Jay-Z as the two famed partners proceeded to argue for days. "Four days, four days literally arguing ... not like fighting. Well, there was some pushing at one point but not between us, just everyone else got a little excited," Jay-Z recalled.

Jay-Z's word choice and the others' pushing techniques must have won out, as "Watch the Throne" was released without the songs.

In an interview with Diddy's Revolt TV earlier this month, producer Timbaland spoke about "Magna Carta Holy Grail," claiming that the first song that was recorded for the album was "Picasso Baby," a track which Jay-Z recently recorded a music video for.

"The first song that we did that sparked everything off, we did the song called "Picasso [Baby]," which is the hardest song on that record," Timbaland said. "That sound set the tone for how the whole album was going to be."

No word as to whether West was given an early listen to "Picasso Baby."

  • 1 "Numb/Encore" ("Miami Vice")
    "We get down, if the play calls for it."
  • 2 "Heart Of The City" ("American Gangster")
    You can't prove that "American Gangster," an R-rated, two-and-a-half hour drama, opened with $43 million in ticket sales solely because Universal used "Heart of the City" in the trailer, but you can't not prove it either.
  • 3 "Reminder" ("The Hangover Part II")
    As if you needed another reminder (groan) that "The Hangover Part II" was just a pale retread of "The Hangover," the marketing campaign used Jay-Z's "Reminder" to score many of the spots and trailers. At least the song is good.
  • 4 "99 Problems" ("This Means War")
    Nothing says "edgy" conflict like "99 Problems." In addition to this early spot for "This Means War," the song also pops up in ...
  • 5 "99 Problems" ("Taking Of Pelham 1 2 3")
    ... this trailer, and ...
  • 6 "99 Problems" ("Tower Heist")
    ... this trailer.
  • 7 "Power" ("The Social Network")
    Not as tied to "The Social Network" as that chorale version of "Creep" that was used in the first trailers, Kanye West's "Power" had its own effect on the Facebook movie. After all, even nerds look cool when Kanye is blasting.
  • 8 "Power" ("Broken City")
    No one man should have all that power, especially when that man is Russell Crowe.
  • 9 "Power" ("Limitless")
    See, "The Social Network."
  • 10 "Empire State of Mind" ("Sex and the City 2")
    Concrete jungle.
  • 11 "Don't Let Me Die" ("G.I. Joe: Retaliation")
    "In the immortal words of Jay-Z ..."
  • 12 "Run This Town" ("The Fighter")
    Despite being an inspirational sports drama that featured score and some period appropriate '80s and '90s music, the television spots for "The Fighter" trotted out "Run This Town." The results? Kind of awesome, actually.
  • 13 "Beware" ("The Dictator")
    Even the Borat-y jokes in the trailer for "The Dictator" look better with Jay-Z blaring on the soundtrack. Well played, Paramount marketing team!
  • 14 "No Church in the Wild" ("Safe House")
    For the Denzel Washington-Ryan Reynolds action flick Universal used the "Watch the Throne" hit "No Church in the Wild" in its trailer.
  • 15 "No Church In the Wild" ("The Great Gatsby")
    You crazy for this one, Baz Luhrmann!
  • 16 "Oh My God" ("Gangster Squad")
    Gosling + Stone + Hova + this line: "I was just hoping to take you to bed."
  • 17 "Brooklyn Go Hard" ("42")
    Warner Bros. has a thing for using anachronistic Jay-Z music cues in its trailers. "42" follows "Gangster Squad" and "The Great Gatsby" in this studio trend, not that anyone is complaining. This one is all swagger.
  • 18 "Runaway" ("The Hangover Part III")
    From Jay-Z to Kanye ...

Suggest a correction