Opinion
By James Pavel 

5. I love the Dough – Notorious B.I.G feat. Jay-Z

Nobody ever was able to quite sweep the carpet under Biggie’s giant weight, but Jigga proved to be Smalls’ equal on this money-saluting swinger. Hova’s bank account was still treated as a celebration at this point in his career, as opposed to the 2013 Hova who sneezes into hundred dollar bills.

 

 4. One Minute Man (remix)  – Missy Elliot feat. Ludacris & Jay-Z

Missy broke ground with this sexually explicit assault on all males who can’t contain their load for an adequate period of time. It’s likely her peak, probably Ludacris’ too,with yet this was just another ridiculously crazy verse from Hova. “Get yo independent ass out of here, question?” was a brilliant shot at his future wife Beyonce’s main crew, Destiny’s Child. It’s chauvinistic Jigga at his cheekiest, a song that likely doesn’t garner too much airtime in the Knowles/Carter household.

3. Light Up – Drake feat. Jay-Z

Nobody is more aware of the competition than Jay-Z. He will show respect where respect is due, and also throw down with anybody, Nas for example, when he feels his crown is being threatened. Hova notices Drizzy coming up and not only accepts the invite to jump on the track but also gives a few lessons to the former rookie of the year. Drizzy kills it, but Hova shows why he’s made a Yankee hat more famous than a Yankee can. Jay’s entire verse is eargasmic as it is just one “oooo” after another.

 

  2. Lost+ – Coldplay feat. Jay-Z

The relationship between Chris Martin and Jay was odd, potentially impractical, but undoubtably sincere. All that was missing was a killer collaboration and that went down when the Brits decided to add some extra swagger to an already stellar track from arguably their greatest album, “Viva la Vida and Death and all of his Friends.” Hova proves on this track that he isn’t just the hip-hop flavour of the month lending his vocals to a rock group in order for them to reach an even broader fan base. Hova is as great, is as ambitious and is as grand as Coldplay. The track is two equals simultaneously flexing, with Coldplay describing a traditional emotion that everyone has dealt with and with Hova explaining how even a celebrity can relate to the concept of losing one’s way.

 

 1. Diamonds from Sierra Leone  (remix) – Kanye West feat. Jay-Z

“I’m not a businessman, I’m a business…man, let me handle my business, damn,” was maybe the single, most rejuvenating lyric of Hova’s entire legacy. The familiar arrogance laced with his trademark smirk made everyone remember that when listening to Hova, one is in the lyrical presence of a legend. It was a risky release for a first single from Yeezy, especially when “Gold Digger” was on the same album, but the remix proved to be one of hip-hop’s greatest collaborations of all time. It feels like Jigga heard the track and just had to take his best shot at it and while Yeezy is many things, a fool he is not. “What’s up with you and Jay, y’all ok?” Jay proved the ROC isn’t just cool, but has converted his record label into a partnership that is destined to remain platinum for eternity.

 

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