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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25. Jermaine Dupri feat. Jay-Z, "Money Ain't a Thang" (1998)

A line from Jay's "Can't Knock the Hustle" gets new life thanks to producer Jermaine Dupri and a funky Steve Arrington sample. Jay dives into to the breezy, free-wheeling brags of the bling era in bars like "Said she loved my necklace, started relaxin'/Now, that's what the fuck I call a chain reaction" – a punchline that Remy Ma re-used for an even bigger hit, Terror Squad's Number One single "Lean Back." "I was going to the airport to pick him up, and on my way to the airport I was listening to Reasonable Doubt. On ["Can't Knock the Hustle"] he says, 'Deep in the south kicking up top game,' recalled the Atlanta-based Dupri to Complex. "It just seemed like that line jumped out to me. As soon as I heard that I was like, We're using that. So he got off the plane, he got in the car. And when I got to the studio at my house, I had the beat up already."

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