Jay-Z Talks Writing Snoop Dogg And Dr. Dre’s Lyrics
Appearing on LeBron James HBO series The Shop, Jay-Z spoke about how it was like to write lyrics for Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre.
On the May 28th episode, Jay-Z who rarely does interviews, spoke about having to put himself in the shoes of two hip hop legends. In 1999, Jay found himself basically writing the entire “Still Dre” single off Dre’s “Chronic 2001”.
“On that reference track, I’m doing Dre and Snoop’s vocals. The reference track it sounds like them. The Foxy Brown reference I’m glad nobody can find that one. But you gotta have somewhat a reverence for them. Obviously, the music they were making with The Chronic and all that … in order for me to really nail the essence of Dre and Snoop had to be like a studied reverence of what they were doing,” Jay-Z explained. “Even to put myself in their shoes. Cause think about that record. That record comes after Dre leaves Death Row, ‘How? My last album was The Chronic.”
Although Jay-Z was credit as a writer on the hit single, not many knew he was behind such a classic. Back in July of 2020, Snoop Dogg confirmed Jay’s ghostwriting when he appeared on The Breakfast Club.
“I’ll give you a great story. Me and the DOC, this is one of the greatest writers in Hip Hop, we in there writing this song. Struggling with the beat. We can’t come up with sh-t,” Snoop Dogg explained during the interview. “The fourth day, Dr. Dre flys a ni–a from New York into L.A., we all in the studio. Thirty-minutes later this ni–as sh-t is done.”
That individual was none other than Jay-Z who according to Snoop Dogg wrote the entire “Still D.R.E. lyrics for both himself and Dr. Dre. “It was flawless. Me and DOC was like, ‘Well looks like this ni–a put struck us on this one. So, Ima take the backseat and we gon accept it’. And it was “Still D.R.E”, and it was Jay-Z and he wrote the whole f—ing song,” Snoop revealed for the very first time.
Released on November 2, 1999, “Still D.R.E.” was the lead single off of Dr. Dre’s mutli-platinum studio album “2001”. The single would only debut at 93 on the Billboard 100.
As far as Jay-Z an east coast rapper mastering a west coast beat by Dr. Dre, Snoop says its all about that love for the art. “Jay-Z is a great writer too for himself. So imagine him striking it for someone he truly loves and appreciates. He loved Dr. Dre. That’s what his pen showed you,” Snoop said.