The studio session Jay-Z was denied entry to
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The studio session Jay-Z was denied entry to

Jay-Z is a music industry mogul to whom people have been paying attention for years. However, before his landmark 1998 album, Vol. 2…Hard Knock Life, the Brooklyn lyricist (real name Shawn Carter) was considered another rising star. 

That said, during an appearance on the So Wassup? podcast, Houston beatmaker and legend DJ Premier revealed that, in 1995, before the release of Reasonable Doubt, Carter was unable to enter the studio session that produced the legendary posse cut ‘1, 2 Pass It’ featuring KRS-One, Fat Joe, Doug E Fresh, Jeru The Damaja, and Mad Lion. 

In 1995, Jay-Z was an underground artist attempting to found his record label, Roc-a-Fella Records, and regularly recorded at Manhattan’s iconic D&D Studios. However, at this time, Premier (real name Christopher Martin) was recording D&D Studios’ compilation project. 

Recalling how he chose artists for posse cuts at the time, Martin stated, “When you do it, whoever’s there that’s ready gets to get on the mic and cut a verse. It was even a race to who could have their rhyme ready.” Premier recalled that iconic New York musicians were eating and drinking while beats were being made on the spot.

However, while ‘1, 2 Pass It’ was being recorded, Jay-Z was outside the studio and was ready to get into the session and prove himself among formidable golden age MCs. Unfortunately, the room was packed, and Carter was denied access.

According to Premier, the studio’s owner, David Lotwin, told Jay he couldn’t enter, stating, “Now, here’s the kick, the great, great icon himself Jay-Z — shout to Hov — was outside. He was not let in because Dave told Jay, ‘It’s way too many people in here. Like, we can’t even move.’ It was that rammed in there.”

He added, “[Jay] waited for a minute, and he gave it another shot but still couldn’t get in. And Jay left.” Carter never held a grudge against DJ Premier or even David Lotwin and continued to use the studios over the years. He even ended up working with Premo a few shortly after the situation.

You can hear DJ Premier speak about Hov’s studio rejection in the video below.