The 10 Jay Z best songs according to UachateC

Today we are going to review some of Jay Z best songs, according to our opinion and that of some specialized media.

Jay-Z is one of the most influential and successful rappers in hip hop history. With a career that spans more than two decades, the Brooklyn artist has managed to reinvent himself and adapt to changes in the genre, without losing his essence or quality.

He has collaborated with big names in music, such as Kanye West, Alicia Keys, Beyoncé and Rihanna, and has won 23 Grammy Awards for his work. 


Jay Z best songs

10. Roc Boys (And The Winner Is…) (2007)

This theme belongs to the album American Gangster, inspired by the eponymous film starring Denzel Washington. In it, Jay-Z celebrates the success and lifestyle of the drug dealers who ruled the streets of America in the 1970s and 1980s. The song is lavishly produced by P. Diddy, LV and Sean C. , and has a choir that includes voices like those of Beyoncé, Kanye West or Nas. Rolling Stone magazine chose it as the best song of the year 2007.

Jay Z best songs

9. 99 Problems (2003)

One of Jay-Z’s most iconic songs, produced by the legendary Rick Rubin, which gives it a powerful rock sound. The lyrics refer to the problems that the rapper has had to face throughout his life, from police violence to media criticism, including love relationships. The chorus is based on a sample of the eponymous song by rapper Ice-T, released in 1993. Former President Barack Obama used this song as a reference in one of his speeches.

Jay Z best songs

8. Empire State of Mind (2009)

A hymn dedicated to New York City, where Jay-Z was born and raised. The song features the collaboration of Alicia Keys, who provides an emotional and catchy melody on the piano. The lyrics talk about the lights and shadows of the Big Apple, as well as the aspirations and dreams of its inhabitants. The song was a critical and commercial success, reaching number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and winning two Grammy Awards for Best Rap Song and Best Rap/Sung Collaboration.

Jay Z best songs

7. The Story of OJ (2017)

A song that addresses the issue of racism and black identity in the United States, using as a reference the figure of OJ Simpson, the former football player accused of murdering his ex-wife and her friend in 1994. Jay-Z reflects on how race it influences the social and economic perception of black people, regardless of their fame or fortune. The theme includes a sample of the singer Nina Simone and an animated video that recreates racist stereotypes from old cartoons .

Jay Z best songs

6. Otis (2011)

A collaboration with Kanye West for the Watch the Throne album, showcasing the chemistry and talent of both rappers. The song uses a sample of legendary soul singer Otis Redding’s voice, taken from his cover of the classic Try a Little Tenderness. On this basis, Jay-Z and Kanye West flaunt their success and wealth, with references to luxury brands, sports cars and beautiful women. The video shows the two artists vandalizing and tuning a ’57 Maybach car, valued at about $400,000.

Jay Z best songs

5. Dead Presidents (1996)

Jay-Z’s first official single from his debut album Reasonable Doubt, although the version that appears on the record is different from the original. The song is produced by Ski Beatz, which uses a sample of pianist Lonnie Liston Smith’s A Garden of Peace. The lyrics talk about money and power, and allude to the American presidents whose faces appear on the bills. The track also contains a snippet of the voice of The Notorious BIG, the rapper murdered in 1997 and a friend of Jay-Z .

Jay Z best songs

4. Big Pimpin’ (1999)

A song that combines the style of Jay-Z with the southern sound of the duo UGK, formed by Bun B and Pimp C. The song was produced by Timbaland, who created an exotic and danceable beat, based on a sample of an Egyptian song called Khosara Khosara. The lyrics talk about the love affairs of the rappers, who define themselves as «big pimps» who do not commit to any woman. The theme was a commercial success and has been covered by artists such as Katy Perry or the cast of The Big Bang Theory series .

Jay Z best songs

3. Ni**as in Paris (2011)

Another collaboration with Kanye West for the Watch the Throne album, which became one of the most popular and acclaimed tracks on the album. The song refers to the trip that the two rappers made to Paris, where they lived extravagant and luxurious experiences. The production is in charge of Hit-Boy, Mike Dean and Kanye West, who created a frenetic electronic beat, with elements such as a sample from the movie Blades of Glory or a siren effect. The song sold more than 5 million digital copies and won two Grammy Awards for Best Rap Song and Best Rap Performance .

Jay Z best songs

2. Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem) (1998)

A song that shows the tougher and more realistic side of the life of Jay-Z, who grew up in a poor and violent neighborhood of Brooklyn. The song uses a sample from the musical Annie, which tells the story of an orphan girl looking for a family. The irony and the contrast between the childish voice and the crude and street lyrics make this song one of the most original and memorable of Jay-Z. The song was a worldwide hit and earned him a Grammy nomination for Best Rap Song .

Jay Z best songs

1.Song Cry (2001)

Jay-Z’s most emotional and personal song, which belongs to the album The Blueprint. In it, the rapper opens up about his mistakes and his feelings towards a woman who left him because of his infidelity. The song is produced by Just Blaze, which uses a sample of Bobby Glenn’s Sounds Like a Love Song. The lyrics show the regret and pain of Jay-Z, who confesses that he can’t cry but makes his song cry. The song was nominated for a Grammy for best rap song of 2001.

Jay Z best songs
Jay Z best songs

You can also see: 

The 10 best songs of Fito Páez according to UachateC


Alberto Pérez Velázquez

Director y Co-fundador de grupo UachateC
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