Idris Elba remembers how he landed on one of Jay-Z’s biggest albums

Get a verse from a legendary rapper Sean “Jay-Z” Carter is a goal many hip-hop artists aspire to but few have achieved. Most recently actor and musician Idris Elba revealed how he managed to land on the New Yorker’s tenth studio album, American Gangster, inspired by the film of the same name.

During his Aug. 8 appearance on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, the British star described the experience to the host. “I’m on both albums, and these two artists don’t know I’m on those albums,” the 49-year-old said of appearing on the 2007 LP, as well as Beatles frontman Paul McCartney’s 2021 work McCartney III Reimagined. ” He continued: “You know what I mean? I literally pushed myself into these albums.”

LONDON, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 6: Jay-Z – Shawn Carter and Idris Elba attend the world premiere of ‘The Harder They Fall’ during the 65th BFI London Film Festival at the Mayfair Hotel on October 6, 2021 in London, England. (Photo by Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)

The Luther star continued, “I heard Jay was in the process of making an album related to the film at the time. And I thought, ‘I have to do this.’ how you do You say, ‘I’m Idris. I have to be on that Jay-Z album.” I don’t know why Jay would say, ‘Yeah sure do it.’ So Lenny S., who works with Jay, was a good friend of [talent manager] Oronde [Garrett], and Oronde is my husband, and I said, ‘Yo, I’m going to write this thing.’ And I wrote this long poem.”

Elba later broke down creative progress, sharing, “We nailed it. It was actually a rap, but it didn’t sound good as a rap. … I said, “Maybe I should say that,” because maybe Jay could be a little more accommodating of my speaking voice. And I sent it to him, and we got this text back from Jay that said, ‘I don’t love this… I f***ing love it.'”

The actor co-wrote and co-produced the “Intro” track on the 15-song album, but it wasn’t his only collaboration with the Roc Nation boss. Fans will remember the star in his most recent role as ruthless outlaw Rufus Buck in the 2021 Netflix film The Harder They Fall, produced by Jay and directed by The Bullitts, starring Jonathan Majors, Regina King, LaKeith Stanfield and more . Idris Elba remembers how he landed on one of Jay-Z’s biggest albums

James Brien

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