Back in the early Nineties, Jay-Z’s extraordinary wordplay earned him the divinely inspired nickname Jay-Hova, a play on “Jehovah.” The Brooklyn native eventually toned it down to Hova and then Hov before the 2001 release of his Grammy-nominated sixth album, The Blueprint. The album “was like going back to my roots, to how I grew up,” Hova told Rolling Stone. True to his words, "Izzo (H.O.V.A.)," traces Jay-Z’s drug-dealing days and his emergence in the rap scene, with a chorus that uses izzle-lingo to spell out his adopted moniker. The chart-topping single, which samples the Jackson 5’s "I Want You Back," was also the first major hit that Jay-Z had with a then-unknown budding producer from Chicago named Kanye West.
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