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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45. "Snoopy Track" feat. Juvenile (1999)

Jay-Z was in his imperial phase when New York rap was doing the same, but as a true student of history, he looked the country over for inspiration, appearing on No Limit releases like the I Got the Hook-Up soundtrack and inviting underground regional heroes UGK and a newly minted multi-platinum superstar from New Orleans named Juvenile to appear on 1999's Vol. 3. Though Juvenile only appears on the song's hook, his sonorous Southern drawl framed one of Timbaland's most unsettling beats with a menacing melody. As searing synths tore a hole in the stratosphere, Jay rapped with the impenetrable, brutal confidence of a world – from New York to Houston to Miami to Atlanta – which folded before him, violence and success its only currency.

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