Pharrell, alongside his production partner, Chad Hugo, has collaborated on a number of hit songs with Jay-Z. The list includes “I Just Wanna Love U,” “Excuse Me Miss,” “Frontin,” “Change Clothes,” and more.
The legendary producer recently spoke with Mark Ronson on Fader’s Uncovered Podcast where he detailed Hov’s unique recording process.
“When he writes, he’s just sitting there mumbling to himself, in falsetto, by the way. Yo, when he writes a rhyme, he doesn’t go, Chyea! [imitates Jay-Z]‘When the Remy’s in the system’ — he doesn’t do that.
Pharrell proceed to dive into their first hit song together, “I Just Wanna Love You.”
“He goes, ‘[falsetto voice] Yo, yo, when the Remy’s in the system/Ain’t no telling will I f*ck ’em? Will I diss ’em?/That’s what they be yellin’/I’m a pimp by blood.’ And he taps you on the shoulder and takes it back again. He writes in falsetto.”
“That’s odd and different and weird and amazing! And makes him a character,” said Pharrell. “I gotta ask him why he does that, I don’t know why he does it. But he’s always done that.”
Jay-Z has always taken pride in not writing down his rhymes and puts forth seldom reminders, like in his 2016 track, “Smile.”
Check out the full episode here.