For the past six years Ben Schigel has been sitting on a secret, never-released rap track recorded by LeBron James and Kevin Durant in 2011 during the NBA lockout. Few — and we mean few — people knew about the recording, and even fewer have heard it, until yesterday when ESPN's Chris Haynes wrote about the collaboration.
The article didn't contain many details beyond its existence and that it was recorded in Northeast Ohio. "One person who has heard the song says he recalls Durant rapping the first verse, James hopping on for the second and then Durant finishing it off. The song's title and theme are unknown, as are its whereabouts. Durant, who produces beats in his spare time, is believed to have provided the instrumentals," Haynes wrote, while noting there were no plans to release the track.
Ben Schigel had no idea the article was coming, but he's the one person who has the full track, which was recorded at his Spider Studios.
"Once I heard everyone talking about news yesterday that there was a secret track, it seemed like a good time, no one knew if it was true," he told Scene this morning.
By "it seemed like a good time," Schigel meant it seemed like a good time to release a snippet of the song, which he did on Spider Studio's Twitter last night.
Schigel also told us a little of the backstory on how it got made.
"I was at the studio, and a friend of a guy who came here knew LeBron's people and said they wanted to come in," he says. "I didn't believe it, but then they showed. I didn't know Durant was going to be there too, but they were here for six or seven hours and recorded a couple of songs."
Wait, a couple of songs?
"Yeah, but it was just LeBron and some of his buddies on the second one."
If the tracks had titles, Schigel doesn't remember them, and he has played the songs for "maybe a couple of people" in the past six years.
"I engineered it, I recorded it," he says, "and after, I never heard anything about releasing it, and I never thought to release it."
Both players got copies of the tracks on CDs, from what Schigel remembers. "They were pretty good, not too bad," he adds about their performances.
As for the RT gimmick (Spider Studios said it'd release the full song if it got 1 million Retweets) it kind of started off as a joke in the studio yesterday — "I'm not a Twitter guy," he said. "I was asking people if 8,000 Retweets is a lot." But with a large portion of the NBA and music worlds interested in the story, Schigel wisely couldn't pass up the opportunity to market his studio.
"We record everyone," he says. "We would love to have people come to the studio." Interested in working with them? Get in touch here
, and read our 2003 cover story on Schigel here.