Apparently never forgiving Ne-Yo, JAY-Z regularly brings up the R&B singer’s theft of a smash song he wrote for Mario everytime they cross paths.
In an interview with Shannon Sharpe for the Club Shay Shay podcast, Ne-Yo discussed the unpleasant encounter and revealed that he handed Mario “Let Me Love You” just before he signed with Def Jam in 2005, when he was still primarily a songwriter.
The “Miss Independent” singer claimed that when he first met Hov after signing, the primary topic of conversation was how he handed away the number-one song.
[IT_EPOLL_VOTING id=”3090″][/IT_EPOLL_VOTING] Ne-Yo claimed, “Just before the Def Jam incident occurred, I depended on songwriting. Let Me Love You, which I composed for Mario because I was just a songwriter, went on to reach number one and stay there for 12 or 13 weeks, or something similar, becoming one of the most played songs in radio history.
I had been signed for a few months at this point when I first got to meet JAY-Z, he continued. He is in the room when I enter it. In L.A. Reid’s workplace. ‘Hey, it’s good to meet you,’ I say as I enter. Man, why do you give that damn song away, he asked. It’s nice to meet you, too, bro. Ne-Yo here. Why do you give away that stupid song? He continues to shout at me for giving that song away. However, I didn’t write it for myself; I was just a songwriter at the time.
The next question from Sharpe was whether or not he thought he could have performed the song as admirably as Mario. Ne-Yo declared, “I’ll be the first to tell you that Mario got chops that I don’t.” “I have no shame in that, but I am aware of my chops as well. So, yes. I believe it would have succeeded any way.
View this post on Instagram
By far Mario’s biggest song to date, “Let Me Love You” peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 back in 2004. The song was ranked as the ninth most popular single of the decade in a year-end round-up published by the magazine in 2009.
In 2020, Mario declared he was still the “King Of R&B,” telling WGCI Chicago on Instagram Live that no one has pipes like him. The song cemented Mario as one of the biggest R&B stars of the moment.
“If we’re really just talking about pure, unadulterated skill,” Mario started. We are not discussing importance or who releases 100 songs annually; rather, we are discussing the phrase “N-gga give me a mic, you get a mic.” There is no one fucking with me if we are just discussing that. I swear to you. I inscribed that on my tomb on everything.