This past Saturday marked the 14th anniversary of the release of Vol. 2... Hard Knock Life on Sept. 29, 1998. Jay-Z's third album, Vol. 2, established the Roc-a-Fella rapper as a mainstream star, debuting at number one on the Billboard charts and winning the Grammy for the Best Rap Album of the year. At a party on Saturday celebrating the pending release of his new video game, NBA 2K13, Jay-Z told the story of how Vol. 2 was born out of his meeting a 17-year-old Swizz Beatz.
"I wanted Dame Grease, 'cause he was workin' on the DMX album [It's Dark and Hell Is Hot]. I was like, 'Where's the guy that's making all of those songs?'" Jay recalled in an interview with MTV News. But instead of Grease, Darrin "Dee" Dean, co-CEO of Ruff Ryders Entertainment, recommended that Jay work with his teenage nephew, Swizz Beatz.
"'My nephew, Jigga, I got my nephew!'" Jay recalled, impersonating Dean. "I'm like, 'Nah, don't try and hit me with the nephew.'"
But Swizz ended up coming in anyway and the two hit it off. They recorded four songs in one day, including "Money, Cash, Hoes" and "Coming of Age (Da Sequel)."
"From there, the body of the album was in place," Jay said.
Also while on the red carpet, the proud father took a moment to slap down recent rumors that his wife, Beyoncé, is pregnant with their second child. Asked if he was expecting a new baby in nine months or less, Jigga responded with a definitive no.
"No, no. Not in nine months," he said. "Absolutely not."
(Photo: Kevin Mazur/WireImage)