2. Jay-Z f/ UGK "Big Pimpin'" (2000)
Album: Vol. 3... Life and Times of S. Carter
Label: Roc-A-Fella, Def Jam
"Big Pimpin'" was Jay-Z's third Billboard Top 20 smash and an early indication that he might have some staying power as a solo artist. His trip to the upper echelons of the charts was aided by Timbaland, whose production folded Far East sonics into Southern rap, and UGK, who put on for Texas and started on their own path to national renown. "Big Pimpin" helped power Jay's Vol. 3 to triple platinum status and netted the whole team a Grammy nomination, and that's saying nothing of the profound effect it had on increasing the visibility of Southern rap for mainstream rap loving audiences outside the South.