Kanye West protégé follows in his mentor’s footsteps with first rap single.
By Rob Markman
How fitting is it that Hit-Boy is signed to Kanye West‘s G.O.O.D. Music? As a producer, the Grammy-winning beatsmith has already built quite the discography, and now he wants to try his hand at rap. Sound familiar?
On Thursday (June 7), the California track dealer debuted the song and video for his first rap single, “Jay-Z Interview,” and boy is it good. The Jelani Fresh-directed clip starts with Hov introducing Hit-Boy to the crowd at a Watch the Throne concert. “This young man is an incredible producer, a lot of passion. He made one of the most incredible records of all time,” Jigga said, referencing Hit-Boy’s board work on the Throne’s “N—as in Pairs.”
“Can y’all invite him to the circle? You ready for that Hit-Boy?” Jay asks.
With that, Hit-Boy the rapper is born. “All these n—as really know my at-bat average/ Ridiculous rap patterns/ And f— who you know, this youngin got the coldest beats/ All my old hoes layin’ in the coldest sheets/ Even if they married, they still ain’t over me,” he confidently raps over a soulful Bink beat.
The music video is comprised of a bunch of homemade videos Hit has accumulated through his travels. Kanye West, Big Sean, A$ AP Rocky, Tyler the Creator, Frank Ocean and Fabolous all appear in the archival studio footage. The visual is strikingly familiar to Kanye’s breakout rap video “Through the Wire,” and just like Yeezy did in 2004, Hit-Boy proves he is much more than a producer.
Back in April, Hit revealed to MTV News that he planned to start a rap career but was pretty tight-lipped, only teasing his first single, which is now here. With G.O.O.D. Music’s collaborative LP Cruel Summer due out later this year, it’s plausible the label’s in-house hitmaker will be spitting bars on the project as well as making beats, but he wouldn’t confirm that either. “We’ll see,” Hit-Boy said sheepishly.
Kanye also made his bones behind the boards, crafting a big chunk of Jay-Z’s The Blueprint album before anyone took him seriously as a rapper, so it’s only right that he help the young man get out his dreams. The parallel isn’t lost on Hit-Boy either. “This is Freshman Adjustment meets Late Registration,” he raps on “Jay-Z Interview,” referencing Yeezy’s 2005 underground LP and sophomore album.
So why is the song named after Hov? Well, how else was he supposed to get your attention? Hit-Boy explains it all in the track’s closing line: “Yeah, the sh– I spit like, ‘What the f— has gotten into you?’/ I got ‘em tuned in like a Jay-Z interview.”
What do you think of Hit-Boy’s rapping skills? Let us know in the comments!