Ever the shrewd businessman, Jay capitalized on the song's popularity by naming his album Vol 2... Hard Knock Life. Jazz rides a jazzy Ski beat, while Mecca works an ear wormy hook.
(Trivia : “Feeling' It” was originally designed for Camp Lo's Gee chi Suede, flow, hook and all.) Back when Dirty South was but a blip on the rap radar, Jazz connected with UK on a blockbuster Timberland beat.
A gripping tale in which Jay admits hurting his loved ones for selfish reasons. This is the side of Jay that was tucked away for years, but he opened up a real scab and created a gem in the process.
This pure, uncut slice of street hop triggered the campaign for American Gangster. “Blue Magic” wound up in the Bonus Tracks section, but it still jams harder than most lead singles.
Give Jazz a hard body beat, and he'll reward you with quotable rhymes. The Na's sample on “Rap Game/Crack Game” would eventually overshadow JayZ's performance on the song, thanks to its role in that famous battle.
Venues basically pay Jay to show up and watch the crowd rap the entire song. He “went out” on a high note, but “the Michael Jordan of rap” would soon bounce back like round ball.
Jazz dotes on the Big Apple and ends up with his biggest smash yet. Word has it that “Can I Live” marked the last time Jazz put pen to pad.
Cool riding a militant Kanye West beat, Jazz. After two full verses of Mob Deep dishes, Jazz turns his attention to Na's for the next 32 bars.
With scholarly focus, Jazz dismantles Na's' earlier attacks on “Stigmatic” Freestyle while launching a few insults of his own. The road to “Dead Presidents II” was paved with trial and error; hopes and disappointment; toil and joy.
The first, slightly subpar version of the song, didn't make the final cut for Reasonable Doubt. To add to the uncertainty, Na's is said to have been booked for a cameo, but he never made it to the recording studio.
In the end, Jazz only needed a mic and a Ski beat to make his greatest song ever. Throughout the classic track, he spells out his lofty goals while kicking some of the worst lines he's ever coined.
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