Jay Z is widely regarded as one of hip-hop’s most influential artists of all time. He is well-known as the former CEO of Def Jam Recordings. Jay recently clarified the’U Don’t Know’ lyric via Just Blaze after Pusha T referenced it in his diss track.

Pusha T collaborated with Arby’s on a diss track aimed at McDonald’s on Monday, March 21. In the song, the president of G.O.O.D. Music raps about “selling water to a whale,” a reference to JAY-Z’s line from 2001’s “U Don’t Know.” This prompted journalist Sowmya Krishnamurthy to wonder whether Hov said “whale” or “well” in his lyric from more than two decades ago, so she contacted Just Blaze to find out.

“So @Pusha_T new Arby’s track seems to have a JAY-Z reference. I’m bugging. Did I have ‘U Don’t Know’ wrong for 21 years?! So I had to ask JAY-Z.. Was his line: A: ‘I’ll sell water to a WHALE.’ B: ‘I’ll sell water to a WELL.’ C: Both. Here’s his response! Haaa!! @sc x @JustBlaze.”

Krishnamurthy then posted a screenshot of her iMessage conversation with Just Blaze, which included a message from JAY-Z himself.


“From Hov. Haaaa!!!! Well/whale. It’s never a coincidence when these things happen. I try to make things work on multiple levels every time I sit down to create. It keeps me engaged.”

The double entendre appears in the fourth verse of JAY-The Z’s Blueprint song, produced by Just Blaze. JAY-Z and Just Blaze discussed the making of “U Don’t Know” and how it helped them build their relationship in a 2009 interview with XXL.

“I sell ice in the winter, I sell fire in Hell. I am a hustler, baby, I’ll sell water to a whale/I was born to get cake, move on and switch states/Cop the coupe with the roof gone and switch plates.”

“During that time, I had two rooms in Baseline. It was a big room that I was in, that I’d record in. Then it was a small room that Just would be in doing beats. What happened was, Just would peep his head in and hear what me and Kanye was doing and would just go back mad. Like, go back and just go [pounds fist on table], and just come in and be like, ‘Yo.’ And it was like this every day. It was like a heavyweight slugfest. For three days they was just knocking each other out. And I remember him playing that joint, and I was like, ‘Oh my God.’”

“I might’ve attacked that [beat] two or three times before I felt that I really nailed it. I was gonna flip that sample for Busta [Rhymes], then I ended up not doing it… That’s actually the record that got me comfortable in my relationship with Jay. That and ‘Song Cry,’ because the demo versions of those songs didn’t sound like the final product.”

Jay-Z’s lawyer, Alex Spiro, recently told a judge that both Hov and Dame Dash are in the process of negotiating a settlement. The settlement under consideration is for a lawsuit Jay filed against his former business partner. To get the latest updates, keep an eye on Thirsty.

What’s your opinion on this one? Let us know in the comments!

Shivangini Rawat

Shivangini is a law student with a passion for writing and music. She writes for Thirstyfornews and enjoys cooking, baking, and playing various instruments. In her free time, she watches movies, TV shows, and anime, with a love for bands like Alcest and Scorpions.

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