Producer: DJ Premier
Album: In My Lifetime, Vol. 1
Label: Roc-A-Fella/Def Jam

While Jay kicked off his first album with a Mary J. Blige feature, he opened up his second (also his Def Jam debut, mind you) with two of DJ Premier's best beats—on one song. If you had any questions about the mysterious figure that was Jay-Z on Reasonable Doubt, he addressed them all here in a little over a minute over a beautiful Aaliyah-sampling Preemo beat. Well, sort of.

Was Jay, who'd only gone gold with his last effort, really as rich as an artist who'd sold three million? Was he really in L.A. down by Pico with Frederico? Did he really still have a drug spot? Is so, what block? Jay doesn't give much of a reply to most of these questions—at one point asking his interrogator "how bad you wanna know?"—but the mere suggestion that someone would ask these questions tells you all you really need to know.

As he started to deal with the hassles of fame, the ever-so-cool Hov was defensive to reporters and radio personalities who wanted to actually know what he was up to. Of the many questions listed, he really only answered one: Would he ever fall off? But you know already the answer to that one.