Memphis Bleek has been in Jay Z‘s shadow for more than fifteen years. On 2005’s “Diamonds From Sierra Leone” remix, Jay rapped about his relationship with his longtime protégé. “Bleek could be one hit away his whole career,” Jay Z raps on the track. “As long as he’s alive, he’s a millionaire / And even if I die, he’s in my will somewhere / So he can just kick back and chill somewhere / Oh yeah, he don’t even have to write rhymes.” The verse has become something of a punch line for those who want to discredit Bleek’s career. In a recent interview, he acknowledged that the perception does bother him.
“I don’t like that line ’cause that line put a stamp on my career,” Memphis Bleek told This Is 50. “I feel people look at me as if Jay is just taking care of me. That line was, I guess, in his mind, a shoutout. But people take it literally and serious, like I’m just chilling somewhere [like] I’m not working. As you see, I’m here. I gotta work.”
“I’m pretty sure he got me taken care of,” Bleek added. “That’s my guy…[But] my son don’t wanna hear Hov got us. He wants to know dad got us…Dad got it…He wanna be at dad’s tours. He don’t wanna be at Hov’s tours. He wanna be at dad’s tours.”
“I love my guy,” Bleek adds. “Hov’s my brother. The shoutout was it, but what I’m saying is what it did to my career after, how the fans and the deejays and people look at me, it’s just another chapter.”
The rapper admits that he has to move past the now-famous line.
“It’s just something I gotta get over,” Bleek explains. “I’ma get through it. We fighters, baby. We get through it.”