56)Jay-Z – Hovi Baby

Song: Hovi Baby

Album: Blueprint 2: The Gift And The Curse

Year: 2002

If you know me, you know Jay-Z is my all time undisputed favorite rapper of all time (no the moniker Young H didn’t stem from him, no he doesn’t have the # 1 slot on this countdown either). This may be the moment where he hit his apex, a year after The Blueprint he came back “on a fucking horse” harder than Raymond “Benzino” Scott could ever threaten to.

First off Just Blaze sampled the beginning of this TLC video, not even a song from an album, WHO DOES THAT? But Jay’s performance was the equivalent of the OJ Ford Bronco chase if it ended with Juice leaping the Grand Canyon on a pogo stick and escaping on a private jet that A.C. Cowlings had waiting for him on the other end. The verbiage started off calm and simple enough with his “they say midget standing on a giant’s shoulders can see much further than a giant” philosophy (I honestly never heard that before this song), then HE JUST STARTS GOING WHAT IS KNOWN AS “THE FUCK OFF”, the flow goes all over the place and slows back down (I am back with the team no I in that, R-O-C, yall not eyein that), then he goes absolutely banoodles again.

Second verse the flow is murderball, the final verse is even nastier as he dances like Pernell Whitaker dodging his opponents’ uppercuts. Say what you will about The Blueprint 2’s filler, this was amongst the finest rap songs of 2002. It’s pretty much unfair how Hov was already at the top and he just made everyone hurt even worse with this song. This kind of ushered in the era where he felt safe to be silly on records like introducing his “band” Just Blaze & The Blazettes, he was really that unbeatable at this point. For you to say Jay doesn’t make a strong case for the greatest to ever do it is just preposterous.

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