Hit-Boy and others detail the making of JAY-Z and Nipsey Hussle’s “What It Feels Like”

JAY-Z, Hit-Boy, Mike & Keys, and 1500 Or Nothin’s Larrance Dopson tell the story of how Nipsey Hussle and Hov’s posthumous collaboration was created.

  /  02.13.2021


The debut of Nipsey Hussle and JAY-Z’s latest collaboration was an unforgettable moment in hip hop history. Hours after the song dropped on Friday (Feb. 12), the talented circle of creators behind the track confirmed that they made “What It Feels Like” over the course of eight years.

JAY-Z, Hit-Boy, and a team of seasoned producers including 1500 Or Nothin’s Larrance Dopson, L.A. natives Mike & Keys told GQ the story of how “What It Feels Like” came together. According to Mike & Keys and Dopson, the beat for the song was born in 2013. Two years later, the horns were added. By 2017, the strings were in place and Nipsey’s infectious “what it feels like” bar became the hook.

“We always thought that was going to be Nip and JAY-Z,” says Mike, “from the jump.” While on tour with 1500 Or Nothin’, Dopson managed to pass the track over to Jay’s trusted engineer Young Guru so that the Brooklyn native could hear it. “JAY heard it five years ago when Nipsey was still here, and loved it,” Dopson recalled. “Then he asked for it again about a year ago.” Eventually, the song would go on to be apart of the original soundtrack for Ryan Coogler’s Judas And The Black Messiah.

“My relationship with Ryan, who I consider my little bro, [is what] brought me to the movie,” JAY-Z said. “And once I saw it, I was blown away by what Shaka King brought to the table. I think I finished the song in the next day or two.”

After he recruited Hit-Boy to executively produce the album, Coogler himself brought “What It Feels Like” to the Roc Nation founder’s attention. “It’s unfair for him to be going that crazy, still,” Hit-Boy said about JAY-Z’s verse on the record.

Along with Hov and Hussle’s new collaboration, Judas And The Black Messiah: The Inspired Album also features contributions from Nas, Rakim, H.E.R., Lil Durk, G Herbo, Bump J, BJ The Chicago Kid, Polo G, Saba, and more. Read the full GQ story about the making of “What It Feels Like” here.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

View More
Choose your Vibe (Optional)
Choose your Vibe (Optional)

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

View More

Trending

Amber Riley on her "Glee" fame, growing up in Compton & dealing with anxiety | 'The Jason Lee Show'

Amber Riley appears on this all-new episode of “The Jason Lee Show” for a juicy ...
  /  03.01.2023

Funny Marco on his viral pranks, Kansas City & interviewing Boosie Badazz | 'Big Facts'

In the season three premiere, Funny Marco sits down with the “Big Facts” crew to ...
  /  02.02.2023

Blueface & Chrisean Rock talk arrests, threesomes & marriage | 'The Jason Lee Show'

Blueface and Chrisean Rock appear for episode two of “The Jason Lee Show.” The controversial ...
  /  01.25.2023

Lowering the cost of higher education | 'Maconomics'

“Maconomics” host Ross Mac checks in with a Jackson State University Cricket Wireless campus ambassador ...
  /  03.20.2023
View More