17. Jay-Z "So Ghetto" (1996)
Album: Vol. 3... Life and Times of S. Carter
Label: Roc-A-Fella/Def Jam
Premo. Jiggaman. History in the making. How did Jay know?! Well, actually, it must have been pretty easy to tell. As soon as he heard the gut-punch thump of the drums the greatest producer in New York had hooked him up with. Or those staccato piano stabs. Or the specialty: a chorus constructed out of vocal snippets cut from and/or referencing the artist who's rapping on the track. ("'You know him well'... 'By the name of Jigga.'") Because singing on a hook is just not hip-hop enough.