Album: The Black Album
Label: Roc-A-Fella/Def Jam
As he prepared to drop The Black Album, Jay was all set to back out of the game, but not before brushing the dirt off his shoulders. You can't get much more confident than claiming to to be the best rapper alive over a quarter-million dollar Timbaland beat. But the track was worth every penny because the first thing you notice about the song is Timbo's signature sound.
On the hook, Jay advised paying your haters no mind, but the God MC was talking much shit on the verses as he listed his various accomplishments. The song was a hit in its day, but was given second life when then-presidential candidate Barack Obama brushed the dirt off his shoulders which simultaneously made Obama look hip and immortalized Jay's banger.
23. Jay-Z "Dirt Off Your Shoulder" (2003)