LOL: Jay-Z Once Told Talib Kweli That He Couldn’t Afford His Guest Feature

(Photos from Left: Taylor Hill/FilmMagic, Ollie Millington/Redferns via Getty Images)

LOL: Jay-Z Once Told Talib Kweli That He Couldn’t Afford His Guest Feature

"It sounds harsh, but it was brutally honest."

Published October 27, 2017

Ahead of the arrival of Jay-Z's 4:44, the hip-hop titan dismissed theories that he was far too seasoned to be a contender in the rap game with a slew of guest features at the top of the year. But one must ultimately wonder: how much does it exactly cost to have Hov bless a track? 

If you ask Talib Kweli, a verse from the Brooklyn lyricist will cost quite a pretty penny that even he couldn't afford. 

During a recent sit-down with Desus & Mero, to promote his forthcoming album Radio Silence, Talib shared an interesting bit about his work with Jay. Around the 15-minute mark, the former Black Star frontman shares the backstory behind Hov's guest verse on the remix of his 2003 hit single, "Get By." "When I first talked to [Jay] about doing the 'Get By' remix, I sent him a message on a two-way pager and he hit me back months later but asked me for my email address and sent [the verse] to me," Talib explained. "And then when I seen him, I was like, 'Yo, thank you for that, I gotta pay you, bro.' He was like, 'You can't afford to pay me for this.' It sounds harsh, but it was brutally honest. He was like, 'What I charge for verses is whole budgets. I'm not going to do that to you.'"

It's commonplace for rappers to oftentimes barter guest verses with one another instead of outright asking for a flat fee, but Jay hasn't been just any rapper since the mid-'90s. His single verse price tag over the past two decades has been rumored to be somewhere between $200k and $1.5M. Must we remind you, he's not a businessman but a business, man. 

Elsewhere in the uncut interview, Talib speaks on Ye's influence on the likes of Drake. "I feel like Kanye is the father of a generation," Talib tells the host candidly. "I feel like artists like Drake, who is now the father of a generation, learned from Kanye." 

Check out Talib Kweli's full remarks on his work with Jay-Z at the 15:07 mark below.

 

Written by BET Staff

(Photos from Left: Taylor Hill/FilmMagic, Ollie Millington/Redferns via Getty Images)

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