Jay Z's 40 Greatest Texts of All Time (2023)


Jay Z's 40 Greatest Texts of All Time (1)

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Jay Z's 40 Greatest Texts of All Time (2)

Z:Conor Sheeran

Published May 15, 2023


Hov, Hova, Young Hov, Jigga ManJay ZRegardless of how you know him, there is no doubt that Shawn Carter is one of the most legendary and influential rappers of all time.

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Born and raised in Brooklyn, Jay-Z has escaped poverty, crime and violence to become a leader not only in music but also in culture, business and more. He has cemented his place among the biggest names in music of all time and is responsible for some of the greatest songs in hip-hop history.

In his career, he has released 13 solo albums, five collaboration albums, several live albums and more. While it's almost impossible to choose the best lyrics, we've done our best. Here are our picks for Jay-Z's top 40 lyrics.

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1. Seeing ice in winter, seeing fire in hell / I'm a cheater, baby, I'll sell water to a whale - "You don't know"

"You do not know"

2. We used to fight over blocks / Now we fight over blocks with buildings that kill / Closest friends when we started / But we broke up when the money grew and soon the black heart grew


3. Mama Didn't Make Fools/Put me anywhere on God's green earth, I'll triple my worth.

"You do not know"

4. Financial freedom, my only hope / Fuck it, live rich and die penniless / I bought a piece for a million / Two years later this shit is worth two million / A few years later this shit is worth eight million / I can't wait till I give this shit to my kids / You think it's a piece of cake I say it's fine / But I'll try to give you a million dollar game for $9.99

"History OJ"

5. Look, if I shoot you, I'll go crazy / But if you shoot me, you'll be famous

"The Streets Are Watching"

6. Nine to five is a way of surviving, I'm not trying to survive / I'm trying to live on the edge and love hard / The troubles of life have poisoned my body, I used to say fuck my mic skills / I never prayed to God, I prayed to Gotti / It it's right, it's wrong - this is life, I live it / I'm not asking for forgiveness for my sins, it's over


7. Let me introduce myself again/My name is Hov, OH, H-to-the-O-V/I was moving snowflakes in O-Z/I think you can still call me/CEO R-O-C, Hov!/Put it on The frying pan is on fire / I'm the number one supplier in the music world / Flyers made of a piece of paper with my name on it / The hottest girl in the game wears my chain, yeah Hov

"Public announcement"

8. Damn, I'm a man of pride, don't do it like that / Don't take it and leave it makes me sick / Don't throw away what we had, simple. / I was just fucking girls, I'll be right back / They say you can't make a bad girl good / But when a good girl turns bad, she's gone forever / I'll cry forever / Damn I have to live with the fact that I hurt you forever

"Crying Song"

9. I'm so ahead of my time I'm about to start a new life / Look back, I'm about to fool you

"Hovy Baby"

10. It's '94, it's raw in my trunk / There's a fucking law in my mirror / I've got two choices, people: pull or / Hop on the devil, put the pedal to the ground / And I'm not trying to 'no chase down the road with Jake 'em / So I got a few bucks, I can fight the case / So I pulled over / I heard, 'Son, you know why I'm stopping you? "/ Why am I young and black and my hat is too low? / Do I look like a mind reader, sir? I don't know

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"99 Problems"

11. I'm not bitter, I'm a writer for myself and others / I say B.I.G. Lyrics, I'm just raising my brother / raising my neighborhood, I'm old enough for that

"What more can I say"

12. Today I took my most complete girl with me / I turn on the gas, she grabs the wheel, it's terrible / How she rides with me, the new Bobby and Whitney / The only time we don't talk is Sex and the City / He's got Carrie fever, but when the show's over / He's my soldier again / 'Cause mama's a knight and I'm a madman / Connect us, how will we be stopped?

„'03 Bonnie i Clyde”

13. I wonder if the prayers of a cheater will suffice / The godly is godly because God loves the godly? / Socrates asked, whose prejudice are you looking for?

"No Church in Nature"

14. First, I want to thank my contact/The most important person, with all due respect/Thanks for the backpack, the brown paper bag/The Nike shoebox that contained so much money/Boys in blue who put greed above badge/First hunter to create hideout

"Roc Boys (and the winner is...)

15. Yeah, yeah, I'm out of Brooklyn now, I'm in Tribeca, right next to DeNiro, but I'll always be a thug

- "Imperial State of Mind"

16. After him, when I spy, I look into his coffin, feeling sarcastic: "Look at him, he's still asleep

"22 Two"

17. He said to 12: "Give me 12" He told them to go to hell because of me

"Anonymous Smugglers"

18. No, I'm the poster child for what happened to watching your mothers earn five dollars just working to earn a dime. Forgive my mood Why should I listen to a system that never heard me?

"Go (Remix)"

19. People lined up to see the sinking Titanic.

"Sierra Leone Diamonds (Remix)"

20. Listen, I'm in a dilemma cousin, I don't have time to deal with Sensitive Bandits, you need hugs Damn little people, I'm just trying to kill myself If the record is two million, I'm just trying to move three

"Heart of the City"

21. From disillusioned young people stuck in their ways, I just read a magazine that ruined my day. How do you rate music that bandits have nothing to do with? I helped them see their way - NOT YOU.


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22. I'd rather die with a big bang than sleep, so here we go.

"Can I live?"

23. A reason to live, I deal with crazy weight No rap, I was crazy straight Partner, I still spend money from 88

"Dead Presidents II"

24. And I have a question: Do you forgive children who live like me? We'll never know. One day I prayed to you and said that if I blow up, I will let you know what is at stake and what is really going on in the ghetto. Promise fulfilled, I still feel my work is not done

"Where am I from"

25. I dreamed that I said nine words to Bob's killer. Asking him "why?" as they fill my eyes These days I can't wake up with a dry pillow They're gone but not forgotten I still feel your homes So curse the day that gave birth to the bastard that caused your worship, reverse the accident Reverse the explosion and then reverse the car reverse the day and here it is you're Bobalob Lord forgive him we've all sinned but Bob is a good guy let him in and if you feel in my heart I'm longing for revenge. thanks again


26. Fight for what you believe in, set goals and you will achieve them


27 You can't be afraid of failure while striving for perfection

"For the next"

28. The difficult takes a day, the impossible takes a week

"Sierra Leone Diamonds (Remix)"

29. To survive, you must learn to live with regret


30. Nobody built like you, you design yourself


31. Loss is not a loss, it is a lesson


32. Fuck perception, follow what makes sense

"A Moment of Brightness"

33. Whoever said illegal was the easy way out / Couldn't understand the mechanics and workings of the underworld admitted


(Video) Jay-Z - Imaginary Players

34. I'm on another level meditating like a buddhist/private lieutenants with ridiculous dreams of getting creamed/"Let's do it", it's getting tiresome/So I got my eyes open like CBS - you can see I'm stressed, can't you?

"I can live"

35. "One day you're up, the next you're down / As long as you stay the same, everything will come back"


36. "In New York City, the concrete jungle where dreams are made, there's nothing you can't do."

"Imperial State of Mind"

37. “I am not a businessman; I'm a businessman, man! Let me mind my own damn business."

"Public Service Announcement (Interlude)"

38. "I'm looking for presidents to represent me."

"Dead Presidents II"

39. “I'm just trying to survive in this high cost of living business; I can't afford to die, I can't afford to give up."

"Can't Beat the Hustle"

40. "I'm from the school of hard punches, we shouldn't let strangers pick our locks."

„Hard Knock Life (Hino do Gueto)”

More Jay-Z Stories:

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  • Jay-Z has joined the legal marijuana scene
  • 5 Books Jay-Z Thinks You Should Read
  • The Return of the 'Black Album': Why Jay-Z's 'Retirement' Album Matters 15 Years Later


Who wrote Jay-Z decoded? ›

His new book 'Decoded' may not erase that reputation." Although Vozick Levinson expands and reveals "it is nonetheless Shawn Carter's most honest airing of the experiences he drew on to create the mythic figure of Jay-Z," while giving the book a grade of A−.

What is Jay-Z decoded book about? ›

Jay-Z's Decoded is part biography, part commentary on American events and issues from the 1980's to the present, part poetry anthology, part history of rap and hip-hop music, and part sociology textbook.

How old was Jay-Z when he dated Beyoncé? ›

In conclusion, Beyoncé was 18 years old when she first met Jay-Z. However, it's unclear when exactly they started dating, as they kept their relationship private for a long time. The couple eventually got married in 2007 when Beyoncé was 26 and Jay-Z was 38.

What is the meaning of 99 problems Jay-Z? ›

In the song, Jay-Z tells a story about dealing with rap critics, racial profiling from a police officer who wants to search his car, and an aggressor. The song reached number 30 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Has Jay-Z ever had a ghostwriter? ›

Well for those of you who believe only a true artist writes his lyrics, you might be surprised to hear that Jay Z, who's arguably the best rapper of all-time, has used a ghostwriter in the past .

Who was the man who discovered Jay-Z? ›

Steven Bartlett on LinkedIn: The Man That DISCOVERED & Built Jay-z & Kanye West!


1. Jay-Z - U Don't Know
(Bailey Music Unedited)
2. THE CARTERS - APESHIT (Official Video)
3. Rihanna, Kanye West, Paul McCartney - FourFiveSeconds
4. Kanye West - All Of The Lights ft. Rihanna, Kid Cudi
(Kanye West)
5. Nelly - Dilemma (Official Music Video) ft. Kelly Rowland
6. 50 Cent - 21 Questions (Official Music Video) ft. Nate Dogg
(50 Cent)


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