When Jim Jones released “We Fly High” in 2006, hip hop enthusiasts caught themselves rapping the words to the song, raising their voices a little higher every time the Harlem rapper followed a bar with the ad-lib, “Ballin.” The improvised word, however, was taken from one of rap’s legends and had actually been used several times before the record made it popular.
“I took that balling ad-lib from Tupac,” Jones admitted on HipHopDX’s “Hacked.” “But I put that balling ad-lib in a shit load of my records and all of my records. It’s just that record, at that time, the way I said it, it just sonically came out correct. It connected more than anything else on the record and shit like that.”
The ad-lib gained more recognition over time, eventually earning a No. 5 placement on the Billboard Hot 100. The El Capo rapper partly credits the accomplishment to help from New York Giants legend Michael Strahan.
“When the video came and I did the hand gesture, and then when Strahan went up. I probably would give a lot of the rapid success rate of the ballin’ record to the New York Giants and Michael Strahan,” the “Summer in Miami” emcee said.
“Because Michael Strahan did that first set and got up and did that ballin,’ and then did another one and got up and did that balling,” he went on. “Then, every time the Giants started winning and sacking and tackling niggas, they started doing ballin’. People were calling my phone off the hook. Like, ‘Nigga, you got the Giants doing the ballin’ dance after they sacking niggas. Nigga, you are gone.’ It was crazy. Then they called me, invited me to one of the games. It was the year they won the Super Bowl. Shit was just dope, man. I appreciate the New York Giants, man. Word.”
Check out the Jones’ full interview on “Hacked” below.