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10 Best Jay-Z Songs

With a catalog extending longer than a decade, there are, in fact, too many Jay-Z songs to choose from. Born Shawn Corey Carter, the Brooklyn, N.Y.-raised rapper has not only collaborated with Big L, the Notorious B.I.G. and Lil Wayne but has worked with famed producers Kanye West and Just Blaze before they reached stardom. Jay-Z is still churning out hits, most recently off 2009's 'The Blueprint 3' album. Listed below are the best Jay-Z songs, as chosen by AOL Radio listeners.
'I Just Wanna Love U (Give it 2 Me)'
Produced by the Neptunes and featuring vocals by Pharrell, this Jay-Z song comes from the 'The Dynasty: Roc La Familia' album. The video for this song is stacked with cameos, from an angry John Witherspoon to a shirtless Memphis Bleek.
'Excuse Me Miss'
Capturing love at first sight, Jay-Z shows his more sensitive side, admitting he's ready to settle down: "All I need is a partner/To play spades with the cards up, all trust." He's got all the ingredients for it, too -- sampling lyrics from the late R&B crooner Luther Vandross' single 'Take You Out' and featuring Pharrell's falsetto in the chorus.
'Dirt Off Your Shoulder'
'Dirt Off Your Shoulder' features one of the most recognizable laser tag-sounding backbeats, credited to Timbaland, and represents Jay-Z's view of, well, social stigma. Even President Barack Obama instilled this attitude when brushing off a brutal debate with Hillary Clinton during the 2008 Democratic nomination. Jay-Z later paired up with Linkin Park for the collaboration album 'Collison Course,' which produced several singles -- one a mash-up of 'Dirt Off Your Shoulder' and Linkin Park's 'Lying From You.'
'Izzo (H.O.V.A)'
One of the best Jay-Z songs to get you up and moving, 'Izzo' samples the cheerful Jackson 5 classic 'I Want You Back' -- thanks to our good buddy Mr. West. Despite the song's upbeat backbeat, the lyrics reflect on Jay-Z's somber childhood memories dealing drugs and living in the projects. Off 'The Blueprint,' album, the anthem became Jay-Z's first Top 10 single as a lead artist.
'03 Bonnie & Clyde'
An updated version of 2pac's song 'Me & My Girlfriend', '03 Bonnie & Clyde' is about Jay-Z's relationship with his wife, Beyonce. Jay-Z's sampling sparked a feud between him and R&B songstress Toni Braxton, who released 'Me & My Boyfriend' -- featuring the same 2Pac sample -- just one week after Jay.
'Can I Get a ...'
Featuring Ja Rule and Amil, this song was the third single off Jay'z 1998 album, 'Vol. 2 ... Hard Knock Life' and was popularized with the help of the comedy flick 'Rush Hour,' starring Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker. Now "bounce wit' me ..."
Jay Z ja rule can i get a what what
'Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem)'
Revealing what it was like to grow up in the projects, the title track off his third studio album seamlessly fuses smooth emcee lines with the famous Broadway showstopping track from 'Annie.' The 1998 single was the first Jay-Z song to achieve international success, reaching the Top 10 in six countries.
'Big Pimpin''
The UGK-featured club anthem was helmed by producer beastie Timbaland. His choice to sample the Egyptian composition 'Khosara' -- notably recorded by Abdel Halim Hafez -- spiked controversy and led to copyright issues, which were soon after dismissed.
'Young Forever'
Featuring British R&B artist Mr. Hudson, 'Young Forever' breathes life into the '80s hit 'Forever Young' by German synthpop outfit Alphaville. Jay preserves the first verse and the chorus, staying true to the classic -- and proving that a song over 20 years old can, in fact, be "forever young."
'Empire State of Mind'
For all the songs written about the Big Apple, this has become the new anthem for the city, arguably replacing Frank Sinatra's 'New York, New York.' The third single off 'The Blueprint 3,' the song features guest vocals from Alicia Keys, who performed alongside Jay-Z at Game Two of the 2009 World Series.

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