The outro to Drake's third album, Nothing Was The Same
, features two penetrating verses from Jay Z on the first half of the song. The two superstar rappers previously joined forces on Hov's "Off That
" from 2009's The Blueprint 3
, and Drizzy's "Light Up
" off 2010's Thank Me Later
"Pound Cake" serves as a lead to the more celebratory "Paris Morton Music 2," where Drake asserts himself above all competition.
"Studied the game to the letter and I did it better
Like I'm supposed to feel guilty?"
Drake's frequent producer Noah "40" Shebib told Rolling Stone that "Paris Morton Music" is exciting for the Toronto MC for a rap standpoint as he's "just getting off bars and different flows, I played it for J. Cole, on some rap buddy-buddy s--t, and he was like, 'Damn!'"
This song's refrain is a scratched-up sample of the hook from Wu-Tang's 1994 single "C.R.E.A.M." (The title stands for "Cash Rules Everything Around Me.")
Paris Morton is the female equivalent of an Aston Martin, whom Drake originally rapped about on his cut, "Paris Morton Music." Drake's verse, where he recalls the time he spent with the black model, was also included on Rick Ross' single "Aston Martin Music
The song opens with a 35-second speech sample of the late jazzman Jimmy Smith. It was taken by the producer/DJ duo Christian Rich from "Jimmy Smith Rap," a track from his 1982 Off the Top album. Jimmy Smith's estate filed a lawsuit in April 2014 claiming Drake never got permission to use the sample, despite liner notes indicating that it had been approved.
Drake's lawyers were able to convince US District Court judge William H. Pauley III that the sample was a "fair use" of "Jimmy Smith Rap," and in May 2017 the judge declared that there was no liability for copyright infringement.
Speaking during a CRWN interview with Hip-Hop journalist Elliott Wilson, Drake revealed that "Pound Cake" was originally recorded when he was working with Beyoncé, and Jay-Z originally penned his two verses for Magna Carta… Holy Grail. For the first time in his career, Jay sent Drake the acapellas of his pair of rhymes to use, and then Bio-1da and Noah "40" Shebib got to work on the beat.
Hova took the opportunity to stunt on Drake when he spits at the beginning of his first verse, "I had Benzes before you had braces." "I think Jay still gets his first line off there," Drake joked to MTV News. "He always takes his opportunity to remind me that he is the true big homey."
"With that said, sometimes I'll set out and have something different in mind for Jay, like, 'I wanna be in the club with Hov on this album'...but we always just end up rapping," he added. "I love rapping with that guy so much that it's tough to go in any different direction."
Drake described the song as the follow up to "Light Up," which, at the time, found Jay dropping some knowledge on his "lil bro." "This feature is part 2 to 'Light Up,' said Drake to MTV News. "A lot of the songs on this album are updates and while he was working on Magna Carta I was able to work get that song [from him]."
This samples Ellie Goulding's Halcyon track, "Don't Say a Word." Boi-1da recalled: "My producer Jordan Evans brought the Ellie Goulding sample to me and I was like, 'this is perfect.' Nothing sounds better than Ellie Goulding singing in the background while Jay Z is rapping."
Drake originally planned to release two versions of Nothing Was the Same. The second version that we never got to hear was meant to play in the reverse order starting with "Pound Cake." "It was a cool, different listening experience," Drake told Vibe magazine. "We never brought it into fruition; I think it was some iTunes [issue] or something like that."