The song Jay-Z shamed Pharrell into making
(Credit: Frank Schwichtenberg)

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The song Jay-Z shamed Pharrell into making

As one of the most esteemed producers in hip-hop, Pharrell has worked with almost everybody in the industry. From Jay-Z to Snoop Dogg and Pusha T, the Virginia native has happily collaborated with legends. However, there is one track song Jay-Z shamed him into making.

In 2013, Jay-Z (real name Shawn Carter) released his twelfth studio album, Magna Carta Holy Grail. On the project, one track shines brighter than the rest, and that is ‘BBC’ featuring Beyoncé, Justin Timberlake, Nas and Swizz Beatz. 

The song sees Nas and Jay-Z, who were former enemies, rap about their days as New York drug dealers and their experiences with hip-hop culture in the 1980s. The song has the pair referencing fashion and more. ‘BBC’ was the duo’s fourth collaboration since their 2001 exchange. Previous link-ups include Nas’s track ‘Black Republican’ Ludacris’s joint ‘I Do It for Hip-Hop’ and Jay’s own track, ‘Success.’

‘BBC’ as a track name is a tribute to Pharrell Williams’ clothing company, Billionaire Boys Club, and was released on the company’s tenth anniversary. Justin Timberlake, Beyoncé, Swizz Beatz, and even Timbaland contributed to the song.

Following a celebration of Pharrell’s clothing company, Carter took Pharrell to Swizz Beatz studio, where Justin Timberlake was recording with Swizz Beatz. Then Timbaland entered the studio to cook up some songs with Nas.

Pharrell was tired, uninspired and not ready to work. However, Jay-Z saw the kingpins of hip-hop in one room and told Williams, “If we don’t make a record tonight, shame on us!”

The result was ‘BBC’. Magna Carta Holy Grail debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 and received a double-platinum certification from the RIAA. Jay-Z has collaborated with Williams on a number of occasions and produced hits such as ‘I Just Wanna Love U (Give It 2 Me),’ ‘Frontin’ and ‘Allure’. You can listen to the 2013 single below.