17. Jay-Z f/ The Notorious B.I.G. "Brooklyn's Finest" (1996)
Producer: Clark Kent Album: Reasonable Doubt Label: Roc-A-Fella/Priority
Biggie Smalls was one of the illest to ever do it. Period. But the world had no choice but to respect Jay-Z as a major contender for the NY throne after hearing him go toe-to-toe with Frank White. It's clear both MCs were quietly battling each other, but this competitive spirit brought out the best in both. Loaded with quotables, “Brooklyn's Finest” found Biggie taking playful jabs at his wife Faith Evans and the bogus rumors about her affair with 2Pac: “If Faye had twins she'd probably have two Pac's. Get it? Two. Pacs.”
This would be the first of just three collaborations the two would record prior to Big's demise. Would The Commission have come to fruition? Would these two have kept the spirit of friendly competition alive? Those questions, and more, will haunt us forever.