The Lil Wayne song that Jay-Z wanted to record first
(Credit: Alamy)

Old School Archives

The Lil Wayne song that Jay-Z wanted to record first

Jay-Z and Lil Wayne are artists whose names enter the conversation when people debate the best rappers of all time. However, their styles are different. They’re not from the same place, but there is one thing they both have in common, which is a 2007 song that got offered to both of them.

The ‘PSA’ musician and ‘A Milli’ rhymer do have one crucial thing they both share; their surnames. Both Lil Wayne and Jay-Z have the surname Carter, and in 2007, New York producer Swizz Beatz had a conceptual track lined up for Jay entitled ‘Dr Carter.’ Intended to appear on his album Kingdom Come, Swizz thought that it would suit the ‘Marcy Me’ artist perfectly. However, once he heard the album’s sonics, he knew it wouldn’t fit the tracklist. 

Swizz Beatz and Jay-Z had a great relationship. However, his production style was raw and aggressive, and for Kingdom Come, the Roc-A-Fella legend had been working very closely with the more extravagant musicality of Just Blaze. As such, he presented the track to another Carter, Lil Wayne. 

In an interview with Toshitaka Kondo of, Swizz Beatz explained the process of the track and its journey, stating, “It was a concept that could have either been for Wayne or Jay. All he had to do was fill in the blanks. It had ‘Good morning, Dr Carter,’ the breathing and the heartbeat. Jay heard it first and loved it. But I didn’t expect him to take it once I seen where he was going with [American Gangster].”

He continued, “It just wasn’t good timing. It definitely fit Wayne. He’s representing the next generation, and he delivered on it. The crazy part is when Jay was talking about the concept, he was talking about rebirthing a new artist, and whoever the new artist was would have been the feature. That probably was going to be Wayne, and Wayne wanted to feature [Jay] on it. So they were thinking the same thing without knowing it.”

For the beat, Swizz Beatz sampled ‘Holy Thursday’ by David Axelrod, which originally appeared on the American composer’s 1968 William Blake-inspired album, Song of Innocence. The track ended up on Lil Wayne’s highest-selling album, Tha Carter III.

However, Dwayne ‘Lil Wayne’ Carter and Shawn ‘Jay-Z’ Carter did eventually collaborate on a track that same year entitled ‘Mr Carter’ produced by Drew & Infamous. You can hear both tracks in the videos below.