1500 Or Nothin,’ Mike & Keys Explain How “What It Feels Like” Was Made

The hip-hop world is still buzzing after hearing the new verses from Jay-Z and Nipsey Hussle on “What It Feels Like” off the Judas and the Black Messiah soundtrack that released last night, and now it’s been revealed that the song has been in the works for eight years.

In a new interview with GQsong producers Larrance Dopson and long-time Nipsey Hussle collaborators Mike & Keys, along with Hit-Boy and Jay-Z himself, recounted how the song came together back in 2013. In the feature, Mike & Keys revealed that they thought Nip didn’t want the song at first because he was often fickle about certain tracks. 

“When Nipsey says [on the song] ‘Drop another mixtape, my shit booming out this bitch,’ he was talking about Crenshaw,” Keys said. “With Nip, you never know,” Mike continued, “because a similar situation happened on Victory Lap with ‘Dedication.’” 

The entire Judas and the Black Messiah: The Inspired Album soundtrack, featuring ASAP Rocky, Black Thought, Lil Durk, G Herbo, Pooh Shiesty, SiR, and more, unquestionably slaps. “What It Feels Like” is just another example of Hov’s lyrical supremacy at 51 years old, and the talent Nipsey had that was taken from us far too soon. Mike also said that when Nip penned his verse, they never had plans of dropping the song immediately anyway.

“When he wrote, it was always from a long-term perspective.”

Hov added that the reason he wanted to be involved in the song was that he respects Judas and the Black Messiah-director Ryan Coogler and the story the film told.

“My relationship with Ryan [Cooger], who I consider my little bro, [is what] brought me to the movie… And once I saw it, I was blown away by what Shaka King brought to the table. I think I finished the song in the next day or two.”

You can read the entire piece here.

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