To this very day, “Say Hello” is my favorite record from American Gangster and one of my favorite records from Jay-Z. Complex recently sat down with DJ Toomp for one of their extensive producer pow wow sessions. The ATL native ran through a plethora of records he’s produced throughout his career with such artists like T.I., Kanye West, 8Ball & MJG, Jay-Z and many more. I was always interested what the “Say Hello” studio session was like and Mr. Toomp broke it down scene by scene. Check out an excerpt from the story, below!
“When I pressed the play button I turned my back and sat with Jay’s engineer Guru. As Jay listened to the track, Guru suddenly elbowed me and whispered to me, ‘Oooh, that shit hard!’ Then he said, ‘Ay man, that’s out of here!’ And I was like, ‘For real?’ And he was like, ‘Yea, [Jay] back there rapping right now…’ I turned back around and Jay-Z was back there shaking his head, had his eyes closed, and all of sudden he was like, ‘Ay man, start that shit over.’ By the time he said ‘start it over,’ Guru looked at me and was like, ‘Yea B, you good…’. So I’m sitting there happy. Jay hit the booth with ‘Say Hello’ in like fifteen minutes. That shit felt incredible, and I knew that it was meant to happen. ‘Man, that’s that classic shit,’ Jay told me. ‘That fit with this Roc-a-Fella shit man. That’s that Roc-a-Fella shit.'”