Album: Made Man
Label: No Limit/Priority/EMI
Producer: Craig B

Back when Southern hip-hop was still maligned in certain circles, Jay-Z was one of the only rappers to recognize the accomplishments of his country cousins; from featuring Juvenile on "Snoopy Track" to snatching UGK for one of his biggest singles, Jay was always cognizant of the region's creative impact. But Jay was listening to New Orleans long before he jumped on Juvie's "Ha (Remix)." First, he appeared on the I Got the Hook Up soundtrack. Then, shortly after the "Ha" remix dropped, he graced Silkk the Shocker's Made Man LP, solidifying the NYC-NL link years before Dipset swiped "'Bout It 'Bout It." His guest spot was a particularly ruthless late '90s Jay, spitting over alternating pianos and horn hits courtesy Beats by the Pound's Craig B. "Even without airplay, platinum off of hearsay," Jay says, a nod to Master P's revolutionary hustle. —David Drake