The song Jay-Z “cheated” on
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The song Jay-Z "cheated" on

Jay-Z is an esteemed and highly respected lyricist. He doesn’t work with just anyone and has high standards. However, in 2022, he agreed to join DJ Khaled, Lil Wayne, Rick Ross and singer John Legend for the iconic track ‘God Did.’

‘God Did’ was the title track of Khaled’s thirteenth album, and it became a diamond-certified single. However, following its release, it was revealed by Roc-a-Fella engineer Guru that Jay-Z had “cheated” by recording his verse on the track in one take.

In an interview with Robert Mark for the music website Genius, audio engineer Young Guru recalled recording ‘God Did’ with Jay-Z, stating, “People think I’m still not amazed when he walk in and do these verses, and this one was different because normally, we’ll sit down, we’ll do a song, three verses, two verses or whatever, and he’ll have a verse, and then we’ll figure out what’s next.” 

He continued to reveal that Jay’s recording of ‘God Did’ was a completely different process, unveiling, “[Jay] walked in and this was completely, he’s spitting the verse to me. One take. He’s literally asking me, ‘Guru, put the beat on.’ I’m like, ‘Khaled didn’t send me the beat, you didn’t send me the beat. Send me the beat.'”

Guru added, “So then he sends me the joint, and I started trying to loop it, and he was just like, ‘No, no, no, hit Khaled and get the whole instrumental,’ so he could spit the whole verse. I didn’t know he had almost four minutes and how many bars or whatever ready, so I’m just in amazement of watching him do this again at 52 years old. It’s like, I never stop being amazed.”

Following the single’s success, Jay-Z (real name Shawn Carter) joined a Twitter Spaces chat with DJ Khaled and Rob Markman to explain how he recorded his vocals, stating, “So while we was waiting for you to send the beat, we was just playing the [loop] inside the control room; so I was going through it a couple times. I was just rapping over, like, any part. It kept looping, and drops was happening in the wrong place.”

Jay-Z has previously he learned how to write in his head from Biggie Smalls and Kanye has since unveiled he now writes lyrics in his head. You can watch Young Guru speak about ‘God Did’ in the video below.