500 Greatest Songs of All Time

172

Jay-Z, '99 Problems'

Writers: Jay-Z, Rick Rubin
Producer: Rubin
Released: Nov. '03, Roc-a-Fella
12 weeks; No. 30

Jigga's decade-long run reached its crescendo with this Black Album smash. Mixing an old Ice-T hook with an intense, clanging groove - including samples spliced in from Billy Squier's "The Big Beat" and Mountain's "Long Red" - it was the funkiest thing Rubin had touched since Licensed to Ill. Def Jam label head Lyor Cohen had suggested the collaboration. "I knew I was gonna get fresh shit," he said.

Appears on: The Black Album (Roc-a-Fella)

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