10 Best Jay Z Songs That Make Your Heart Go Hip-Hop & Rap-Rap

Best Jay Z Songs
Best Jay Z Songs

Jay-Z (Shawn Corey Carter) is a leading rap music performing artist in USA. He was born and raised in Brooklyn city of New York. Jay-Z launched his music career in 1995. Jay-Z is also a businessman. He is the owner of Roc Nation, an entertainment company and the co-founder Rocawear, the clothing line. He is admired in the music industry for being one of the best selling musicians of all time, having won 21 Grammy Awards until now. We have listed here the top ten best Jay Z songs that robbed away your heart beats.

Rating: 5.00/5 (1 votes)

99 Problems
AlbumThe Black Album
Release DateApril 27, 2004
Format12” single
GenreRap Rock
WritersJay-Z, Norman Landsberg, Felix Pappalardi, Billy Squier, John Ventura, Leslie Weinstein, Tracy Marrow and Bernard Freeman

  • The similar music and lyrics of Ice-T’s Home Invasion album in 1993was utilized by Jay-z in his “The Black Album”.
  • The music video for this song was shot in black and white where there is a controversial end that shows Jay-Z being gunned down
  • In this song, Jay-Z speaks about how he handled three people: a police officer who does racial profiling, rap critics and an aggressor
  • In a Q&A session on Twitter, Jay-Z was thrown a question as to whether he still had 99 problems. Jay-Z replied that “new rules and new problems have come”.
  • The song reached the #30 spot on the Billboard Hot 100

Rating: 5.00/5 (1 votes)

Dead Presidents II
AlbumReasonable Doubt
Release DateFebruary 20, 1996
Format12-inch single - cassette - CD - vinyl
GenreEast Coast hip hop
WritersShawn Carter, David Willis, Lonnie Liston Smith, Nasir Jones and Peter Phillips

  • “Dead Presidents” title is a slang used to refer money since portraits of dead US presidents are noticeable in many Federal Reserve Notes
  • Since it is the second version of the album, the title “Dead Presidents II” was kept. The lyrics of this album are different than the single.
  • This song speaks about how Jay-Z recollects his life as a street hustler and how he achieved this celebrity status
  • Both the old and latest version of this song got good recognition and were considered as the best hip-hop songs to be ever recorded
  • Dead Presidents II earned the #16 spot in’s “Top 100 rap songs”

Rating: 5.00/5 (1 votes)

AlbumThe Blueprint
Release DateSeptember 11, 2001
FormatLP Diss Track
GenreHip Hop
WritersShawn Carter

  • This song is the first official LP diss track to publicize the feud between both the hip-hops of Jay-Z and Nas
  • The first line of this song is used from Jay-Z’s lyrical lines, Celebration off of the in “Streets is Watching” soundtrack
  • A few lines from David Bowie’s Fame song is also being used

Rating: 5.00/5 (1 votes)

AlbumThe Blue Print
Release DateSeptember 11, 2001
FormatDigital Download
GenreHardcore hip hop – political hip hop
WritersShawn Carter, Luis Resto and Marshall Mathers

  • The song was first recorded with Eminem and Royce for the Bad Meets Evil Album series but later Jay-Z replaced Royce
  • Jay-Z’s version of this song that was released in 2001 got included as a bonus track in the 2005 released album of Eminem, “Curtain Call: The Hits”
  • This song is the 12th track of Jay-Z in his sixth album “The Blue Print”

Rating: 5.00/5 (1 votes)

Empire State of Mind
AlbumThe Blue Print 3
Release DateOctober 20, 2009
FormatDigital Download – CD single – 12”
GenreEast Coast hip hop
WritersAngela Hunte, Alicia Keys, Alexander Shuckburgh, Burt Keyes, Janet "Jnay" Sewell-Ulepic, Shawn Carter and Sylvia Robinson

  • The song’s music video was shot at many locations within New York state while a large portion of the video was processed in black and white format
  • This song track became a phenomenal success in various countries and reached the top positions in their official charts
  • “Empire State of Mind” maintained its first spot on the Billboard Hot 100 in United States for 5 weeks
  • The song received high acclaim from music critics. It was included in the 2009 Top 10 songs list of various critics.
  • The song was written as a tribute to the two New Yorkers who performed in this song, Jay-Z and Alicia Keys

Rating: 5.00/5 (1 votes)

AlbumThe Black Album
Release DateNovember 14, 2003
FormatDigital Download – 12” vinyl
WritersShawn Carter and Kanye West

  • This song was released as the fourth track on Jay Z’s “The Black Album”
  • The song, when mixed later with Linkin Park’s “ Numb” song and released in the next version of the song track had received phenomenal popularity
  • This song was selected for the Grammy Award in 2006 for the best rap song sung by the duo, Linkin Park and Jay-Z
  • Critics raised questions about the time of Jay-Z’s retirement, which was thought to be strange
  • A B-side version of this song was added on a 12” vinyl along with the “Dirt Off Your Shoulder” song

Rating: 5.00/5 (1 votes)

Dirt Off Your Shoulder
AlbumThe Black Album
Release DateMarch 2, 2004
Format12” Single
GenreEast Coast hip hop
WritersShawn Carter and Timothy Mosley

  • The word “Dirt” in this song refers to people who continually work on criticizing others and cannot digest the success of the latter
  • Jay-Z mentions in this song about the “40/40 Club”, restaurant owned by him
  • This song became popular after its release, especially among athletes who showed the gesture of casually wiping off their shoulder
  • The song was ranked #5 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and the third biggest peak position for Jay-Z on this chart

Rating: 5.00/5 (1 votes)

Hard Knock Life
AlbumVol. 2 Hard Knock Life
Release DateOctober 27, 1998
Format12 inches single – cassette – CD
GenreEast Coast hip hop
Length3:58 (album version) 3:38 (radio edit)
WritersShawn Cartner, Charles Strouse, Martin Chamin and Amin Rarmoul

  • It was one of the most successful singles songs of Jay-Z during its release
  • The song hit the top-10 music charts of many countries like for example in Canada, Denmark, Netherlands, Germany, New Zealand and the UK
  • During 1999, RIAA certified this song with a gold medal for being the best singles song
  • This song was successful in reaching the #15 spot on the Billboard Hot 100

Rating: 5.00/5 (1 votes)

Song Cry
AlbumThe Blue Print
Release DateMarch 23, 2002
Format12-inch single – CD single
GenreHip Hop
WritersShawn Carter, Douglas Gibbs, Randolph Johnson and Justin Smith

  • Jay-Z, in an interview with Bill Maher, actor and television host told that this song is written based on his three earlier relationships and its experiences
  • Jay-Z uses this rap ballad song to tell that he is responsible for the breakup of an earlier relationship
  • This song stood in the #45 position in the US Billboard Hot R&B Hip-Hop Singles and Tracks
  • Jaguar Wright, a female vocalist was used in this song but her name was not found in the liner notes of this album, “The Blue Print”

Rating: 5.00/5 (1 votes)

Izzo (HOVA)
AlbumThe Blue Print
Release DateAugust 21, 2001
FormatCD single – 12”
GenreEast Coast hip hop
WritersShawn Carter, Kanye West , Mizell Brothers, Berry Gordy, Deke Richards, Freddie Perren and Alex Horn

  • The slang usage of HOVA is spelt out in the first line of this song where H is pronounced as “Ixx-O” while V as “Izz-A”
  • The meaning of word Hova is “Jay-Hovah”, Jay-Z’s god name. The god’s name of Jay-Z is “Jay-Hovah” in Jehovah language, which is latinization of the Hebrew language
  • In this song, Jay-Z tells about an incident that happened in 1999 where he was accused of stabbing a record producer. He does not repent of this act.
  • Jay-Z gives a summarized account of his life in this song

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