JAY-Z may not charge for a verse these days, but back in the day, he wanted a quarter-of-a-million dollars to get on a Joe Budden remix.
During an interview with the “Flip Da Script” podcast, Budden revealed that his team tried to get JAY-Z to record a remix to his 2003 Just Blaze-produced single “Pump It Up,” but they couldn’t afford his $250,000 fee.
“I don’t think it was a big number. I think that was his number,” Joe recalled. “That’s my number to rap on this new artist’s remix. It was just big in my world, but it wasn’t a big number.”
Looking back, Joe doesn’t think JAY overcharged. “That was par for the course. It was normal,” he said. “It was big to me because it was unattainable. It was outside of my budget, but the blessing was that he gave a number. If there was a way to get it, maybe this gets done. Maybe the start of your career goes different if you can find that money. But no, we didn’t have that.”
However, he was optimistic that it would still get done because of JAY-Z’s relationship with his A&R. “I’m super young in that moment. I wasn’t in the studio when they had the conversation. I knew that they had some type of relationship. It was a Just Blaze beat, and I was green behind the ears. I just thought that it would get done. I didn’t know anything about the business and how things like that are supposed to go.”
JAY-Z’s “Pump It Up” verse didn’t end up on Joe’s self-titled 2003 debut, but it ultimately appeared as a freestyle on Hov’s 2010 greatest hits album, JAY-Z: The Hits Collection, Volume One. On the beginning of the song, Jay rapped, “Gimme that beat, fool, it’s a full-time jack move,” which some took as a shot at Joe.
“It worked though. I got my remix,” said Joe, while praising Jay’s verse. “He went crazy.”
A JAY-Z feature may be unattainable for most artists these days, but if he agrees, it won’t cost you a thing. In his recent interview with Kevin Hart’s “Hart to Heart,” the hip-hop icon revealed that he no longer charges for features.
“Pretty much every song that I’m on, I’m asked to be on. I don’t ask people to be on their songs,” said Hov, who turns down most offers. “I typically try to be straight up with people. I don’t like to drag or like waste people’s time or hold them.”