Producer: Kanye West
Album: Single
Label: Rawkus/UMVD

To most, Jay-Z and Talib Kweli represented opposite ends of the hip-hop spectrum. To purists, Kweli represented the good in hip-hop: traditional aesthetics, conscious lyrics—a throwback to the golden age. Purists thought, while Jay could rap, he represented all that was wrong with the genre: opulence, commercialism, Top 40 tunes.

When Jay jumped down with Kweli on the star-studded “Get By (Remix),” it was clear these two were more alike than they were different (with the exception of Jay claiming “Picture me working McDonald's/I'd rather pull the Mac on you”). Both artists were just trying to get by, but in two different ways for one common goal.

A year later Jay name-checked Kweli on “Moment of Clarity,” admitting he dumbed down his lyrics for commercial success and gave Kweli justly due props at the same time: “If skills sold/Truth be told/I'd probably be/Lyrically, Talib Kweli.”