Jay-Z: 50 Greatest Songs

With a rhyme career going since the late Eighties, Jay-Z's songs have been reflective, pop, confessional, hard-edged and indelible. Here are his best

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32. "A Week Ago" feat. Too $hort (1998)

Vol. 2… Hard Knock Life exploded with splashy radio anthems, becoming Jay-Z's only album to be certified five times platinum. "A Week Ago," however, was the album's throwback to the rueful street tales that he built his reputation on. Bay Area trailblazer Too $hort wasn't supposed to be the only regional rap legend on the track – Jay asked Pimp C to appear, according to his UGK partner Bun B. The session fell through, but Jay linked up with UGK a year later for the far more famous "Big Pimpin'." 

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