“La, la, la la / Wait ’til I get my money right” – it’s one of the greatest Kanye records of all time, but have you ever wondered why Young Jeezy’s adlibs are all over “Can’t Tell Me Nothing” without a verse?
Turns out the story is a little more complicated than Kanye deciding to have some random fun with Jeezy’s iconic “Yeah” and “Ha Ha.”
The song was originally a Jeezy featuring T.I. record, “I Got Money” that was produced by DJ Toomp and meant to feature on his 2008 album, The Recession. Deciding that a Kanye verse would be a dope addition, the Snowman sent it over, only to have Ye change the entire song.
“I sent it to Ye and [he] put a verse on it but wanted to know who produced the record,” Jeezy recalled in an interview. Kanye connected with Toomp to make changes to the song before sending it back. “When he sent it back, I’m just like, ‘Yo man, it’s a whole different song. And I gotta turn my album over to the label in two days.’”
Jeezy decided to leave the song off The Recession and gave it to Kanye, who decided to keep the adlibs on the song and continued to make further adjustments to it with Toomp, who also worked on “Good Life” and “Big Brother” on Graduation. Jeezy would later jump on the remix version.
In an interview with Complex, the Atlanta producer spoke about working with Kanye on the song and on Graduation overall:
DJ Toomp: Once we started working together on Graduation, it definitely felt like a team atmosphere. It felt like, ‘we.’ The whole vibe was perfect. Him being an artist slash producer made it even better, because thanks to his producer side, he really gets it. Plus we both use the same type of equipment. Even though he’s a fellow producer, I didn’t feel scrutinized. On “Can’t Tell Me Nothing,” those strings mesmerize you. We wanted [the song] to feel spooky like that. Those were real strings, and me and him were just going back and forth with files. I would say that sixty percent of “Can’t Tell Me Nothing” was Ye, and forty me. Ye is a mastermind.DJ Toomp Tells All: The Stories Behind His Classic Records | Complex