Yesterday, I published my Beat Break interview with Cam O’bi, the super talented producer behind Chance The Rapper’s “Cocoa Butter Kisses,” Isaiah Rashad’s “Free Lunch,” SZA’s “Doves In the Wind” and so many more amazing songs.
One thing I learned about Cam from our three-hour conversation—aside from the fact he’s a very friendly guy who doesn't mind giving three hours of his time to a rap blogger—is that a bunch of songs he’s produced originally had other homes: Vic Mensa’s “Orange Soda” was for Chance The Rapper, Isaiah Rashad’s “Free Lunch” was for J. Cole and Bas, and Noname’s “Shadow Man” began as a collaboration between Cole and EarthGang.
One particularly interesting nugget I couldn’t find a place for in my Beat Break piece, though, was how Vic Mensa’s “Hollywood LA,” which Cam produced with TDE’s Tae Beast back in 2012, was originally intended for Kendrick Lamar. What’s more, K. Dot even recorded a sequel to “Uncle Bobby & Jason Keaton,” off 2009’s Kendrick Lamar EP, to the beat.
I’ll let Cam tell the story:
“[When I moved to Chicago], the first person [Peezy, Rockie Fresh’s DJ] introduced me to was Vic Mensa. He was like, ‘Yo, I know somebody you’d really vibe with and who’d really like your music.’ The first day we met, we made a song called ‘Hollywood LA.’
“That beat is old as fuck. I made this in 2012 with a guy called Tae Beast, he’s a part of TDE. We made that beat for Kendrick at first. According to Tae—this was back when he was working on 'good kid, m.A.A.d city'—Kendrick actually recorded a song to that beat called ‘Uncle Bobby Part Two.’ It didn’t make the album, so it never came out.
“I’ve been a big Kendrick fan since ‘Uncle Bobby Part One,’ so to know he made an ‘Uncle Bobby Part Two’ over my beat, that’s amazing.”
Kendrick Lamar over the "Hollywood LA" beat? That would've been as automatic as an uncontested Steph Curry three (or even contested, for that matter). With Vic, it's fair to say the beat ultimately found a good home, though.