Harlem resident Cam'ron's 2002 single "Oh Boy" featured an instantly recognizable beat courtesy of producer Just Blaze, who used a repeating, high-pitched Rose Royce vocal sample to anchor the song. Released during the heigh of the infamous Nas vs. Jay-Z feud, "Oh Boy" might have gone down in history as a Nas dis, if a planned Jay-Z verse made it onto a remix. Juelz Santana, who made a guest appearance on the original track, explained "[Cam'ron] made [engineer Young Guru] erase the verse," about the rapper's reluctance to include the insulting lyrics. "Cam told Guru, 'You better erase that, I don't ever want to hear that.'"
After visiting islands made famous by Homer's Odyssey, artist Martin Sharp (who would go on to do the cover art for Cream's Disraeli Gears) wrote this poetic tune to the melody of "Suzanne," specifically, Judy Collins' cover of Leonard Cohen's song. Through a mutual acquaintance, Sharp got the lyrics to Eric Clapton, who worked them into a guitar riff inspired by the Lovin' Spoonful's "Summer in the City." The song marked Clapton's first use of the wah-wah guitar effect. "I always liked that song," said Jack Bruce, who sang it. "I think it was the wah-wah that did it for me. I'm a sucker for wah-wah."