100 Greatest Hip-Hop Songs of All Time

What makes a great hip-hop song?

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16. Jay Z feat. UGK, "Big Pimpin'"

Jay Z has since claimed that he's a little ashamed by the rawness of his tricky verses on "Big Pimpin' ." "I thug 'em, fuck 'em, love 'em, leave 'em/'Cause I don't fuckin' need 'em," he boasts. "What kind of animal would say this sort of thing?" Jay said of his own lyrics. "Reading it is really harsh." But "Big Pimpin'" is the ultimate playa anthem, radiating excess and power. Jay defied North-South regional bias by reaching across the Mason-Dixon to give Port Arthur, Texas, duo UGK a prominent spot on one of his biggest hits. His guests' nimble wordplay added a brilliant twist to the track: "Go read a book, you illiterate son of a bitch, and step up your vocab," taunted Bun B. Timbaland's beat fit the ecumenical vibe perfectly – a bugged-out orchestral sample lifted from a 1957 song by Egyptian singer Abdel Halim Hafez that gave Jay Z's supersize boasts a perfect sense of world-straddling dominance.

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