AlbumFlesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood
Label: Ruff Ryders/Def Jam
Producer: Swizz Beatz, PK, DJ Shok, Dame Grease, Irv Gotti
Even if he put up "Will Smith numbers" with Vol. 2, Jay was eager to prove he still had one foot in the streets (and the streets were certainly still watching). Jay's verse finds him in a foul mood, he's aggressively boastful and downright vicious. The song was a classic in the "Reservoir Dogs" era, when Roc-A-Fella, Bad Boy, and Ruff Ryders often got together for a series of memorable posse cuts. Ruff Ryder's maestro Swizz Beatz' backdrop was the sound of danger approaching, like an alarm system that goes off whenever a group of goons on the run from the law shows up at your party but don't dance or socialize. Jay laces his verse with a phrase he'd later use for the title his future album: "Y'all niggas bout to witness a dynasty like no other." It felt more like a threat than a promise. — Insanul Ahmed