Rick Ross on recording “Devil in a New Dress,” the best verse of his career

Rick Ross on recording “Devil in a New Dress,” the best verse of his career

I wasn’t sure what tweeting was but I did know that something different was taking place here. Kanye had flown in a murderer’s row of emcees, producers and songwriters to work on this project. Legendary beatmakers like No I.D., Pete Rock and DJ Toomp. Young superstars in the making like Nicki Minaj, Kid Cudi and Big Sean.

This was the routine. Every day would start at 10:00 a.m. with breakfast at Kanye’s crib in Diamond Head. Sometimes we’d get there before he did. Kanye would still be at the studio from the night before. He had two full-time chefs there who were cooking up French toast with flambéed banana while everybody got to talking about what we’d worked on the night before and what we were fitting to do at the studio today. These were Knights of the Round Table discussions.

It was during one of those breakfasts that Kanye and I got to talking about Pusha T. Pusha was one half of the Virginia rap duo Clipse, who had just dropped their third album Till the Casket Drops. Kanye had been featured on the album on a song called “Kinda Like a Big Deal” but he never actually worked on the record. He’d recorded his verse on there for a T.I. song called “On Top of the World,” but somehow it had ended up getting placed on the Clipse song instead.

So Kanye didn’t know Pusha T. But I did and I gave Ye my opinion on him. Somebody like Pusha T could be a big asset in this environment and I recommended Kanye see what his label situation was too. I got them on the phone and the rest is history. I had already left Hawaii by the time Pusha got there but he got a few placements on the album and Kanye ended up signing him to G.O.O.D. Music.

After breakfast Kanye would go play a few games of pickup basketball at the YMCA. Spiff and I usually skipped out on the gym. We’d hop in our little Kia rental car and explore the island. We’d go to lunch at Benihana, and do some shopping. Spiff and I are toy collectors and we found a dope-ass toy store one day and bought mad shit.

Playtime was over at 3:00 p.m. That’s when everyone would reconvene at the studio. For the next 12 hours it was all business.

Written By: Rick Ross

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