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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37. "Who You Wit II" (1997)

Roc-A-Fella co-founder Dame Dash was working on a soundtrack to a new comedy called Sprung when he asked producer David "Ski Beatz" Willis for original material. The next day, the producer began to flip smooth jazz group the Jeff Lorber Fusion's 1981 song "Night Love" (featuring a young Kenny G) into "Who You Wit." With an extra verse, re-released as "Who You Wit II," it would become one of the most cherished, punchline-heavy songs on Jay's second album In My Lifetime, Vol. 1. "'Who You Wit' leaves a legacy of true lyricism at its purest form," Ski tells Rolling Stone. "People gravitated to that song because it was so witty." "The arrangement had a lot of space and was somewhat minimalistic, [making] it easier for them to manipulate [the sample] the way they did," Lorber adds. "It was a little shocking to hear my song in a new context, but i think it has aged well and is still fun to listen to."

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