Album: Reasonable Doubt
Reasonable Doubt wasn't all Mafioso rap—Jay still had to put his champagne down and show and prove as an emcee. On “22 Twos” he paid homage to A Tribe Called Quest and showed off his skills as a highly technical lyricist. He proved he had the ability to properly execute a concept record (faux talk-show banter and all) and although he slowed his flow down a touch, his fast-paced delivery was still highly potent.
The song is mostly celebrated for its first verse, wherein Jay spits the word two/to/too 22 times (Count 'em!). The second verse was always underwhelming by comparison since Jay abandoned the the two/to/too schtick, which may be why during the 10-year anniversary of RD he dropped a proper second verse, “44 Fours.” But it really didn't matter at that point. At the end of this track there was no question, Jay-Z was just too much.
32. Jay-Z "22 Two's" (1996)