MSNBC‘s Hip Hop-quoting anchor, Ari Melber, got a big look this year when JAY-Z turned his 11-minute dissection of the “GOD DID” verse into an official track on TIDAL called “HOV DID.” Now, Dave East has immortalized Melber in a track, as well. On Friday (November 18), the Harlem spitter dropped his new DJ Drama Gangsta Grillz collaboration, Book of David, which features the song “Eyes Can See” with Buda & Grandz. East raps in one of his verse, “On MSNBC, I got Ari with me/They book me to come out, I never party for free.”
Melber, who’s interviewed East multiple times for The Beat with Ari Melber, was blown away by the mention and understandably relieved it wasn’t a diss.
“The best bars are facts and Dave is correct—we keep having him on MSNBC as a dope guest,” Melber tells AllHipHop. “One time he even brought his parents. It was generations of Easts and we had a blast.
“I’m thrilled to be referenced on wax—and thankful it wasn’t a diss track because I wouldn’t have the capacity to respond to that [laughs].”
Melber has a proven track record of paying homage to some of Hip Hop’s most revered artists—from Mobb Deep to Biggie. JAY-Z, in particular, was unexpectedly receptive to Melber’s brilliant on-air breakdown of the aforementioned “GOD DID” verse. Bar by bar, Melber effortlessly articulated HOV’s musings on the American drug war, corruption, discrimination, business and perseverance.
It caught the attention of Roc Nation affiliate LeBron James tweeted the clip of Melber’s detailed explanation of JAY-Z’s contribution to the DJ Khaled track and wrote: “Listen! Then listen again to make sure you got the point. HOV DID!!!!!! And so did the reporter! [GOAT] TALK.”
JAY-Z responded just hours later, firing off a rare tweet that read: “My only goal is to make the real ‘ones’ feel seen, forgive me that’s my passion talking … haa.”
Revisit it below.