Producer: Kanye West
Album: The Blueprint
Label: Roc-A-Fella/Def Jam

Do you remember where you were when Jay premiered “Izzo” at 2001's (first ever) BET Awards? It was the world's first taste of the anthem, as Hov invited Nelly and Snoop (and their respective entourages) to celebrate the moment on stage with him. If you witnessed the moment, you knew this was going to be something big.

The next morning, fans were scouring file-sharing sites and impatiently waiting to record from radio. The immediately-recognizable Jackson 5 sample, and beyond-catchy chorus resonated with the masses and created massive amounts of hype for his upcoming album, The Blueprint.

While the record was commercially pleasing, it also appealed to the snobbiest of hip-hop elitists with Jay successfully bringing intricate rhyme patterns and drug talk to Top 40 radio. Granted, most of the world had no idea what “H to the Izzo” meant (No, it wasn't a dedication to Michigan State's basketball coach, Tom Izzo), but that didn't stop the record from exploding, giving Jay another Top 10 Billboard hit. He did it for his culture!