Memphis Bleek receives an iced-out Roc-A-Fella chain from his longtime mentor JAY-Z, sparking nostalgia for their "Coming Of Age" chemistry.
Some bonds can never be broken, and the loyalty between JAY-Z and his longtime protege Memphis Bleek continues to hold strong.
For many fans, Reasonable Doubt marked the introduction to both parties, with Bleek holding it down alongside Hov on the classic "Coming Of Age." From that point on, Bleek was a fixture on many of JAY's releases, including Hard Knock Life, The Life & Times Of S. Carter, The Dynasty: Roc La Familia, and Blueprint 2.
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Though the pair eventually stopped collaborating, Bleek remained loyal to the Roc-A-Fella dynasty, even after he branched out and launched the Warehouse Music Group. Now, Bleek has found his longtime allegiance to Hov's legendary label rewarded, receiving an impressive gift from JAY-Z in honor of Reasonable Doubt's twenty-fifth anniversary.
Bleek took to Instagram to show off an impressive new piece of jewelry -- a diamond-encrusted depiction of the Roc-A-Fella logo -- as well as a hand-written message from Hov. "Bleek, I always got you," writes Jay. "Thanks 4 Everything!"
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Bleek offered up a few words in the caption, "Just got to the crib and look what I see!!" he writes. "#RD25 #Roc4Life 25yrs ago this album saved my life!! The OG know on the low I had the best verse!" While it's unlikely the naturally competitive JAY will agree with Bleek's confident declaration, it can't be denied that the young Marcy made the most of his Reasonable Doubt spotlight. Only a teenager at the time he laid down his vocals, Bleek brought a youthful exuberance to the mix, a fitting contrast to the OG persona JAY sought to exude.
LISTEN: JAY-Z ft. Memphis Bleek - Coming Of Age
In his Decoded book, JAY-Z reflects on the track's creation, claiming that he actually wrote Bleek's verse and gave him a brief window to memorize the entire song. "He took the paper I handed him and looked it over," said JAY, as detailed by Genius. "I’d written the verse down for him in some chicken scratch… He came to my apartment the next day and spit the whole thing like he’d been doing it his whole life."
The pair would go on to reprise their roles in "Coming Of Age (Da Sequel)", on JAY's 1998 album Vol 2...Hard Knock Life.
As the nostalgia for simpler times flows through you, check out Memphis Bleek's post below.