Jay-Z is the first rapper to be inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame!
This is an opportunity for haters to say “well what about [insert favorite rappers name here]?” Before that madness begins, let’s review some of Jay-Z’s best lyrics.
1. The entire 99 Problems song was perfection, but let’s just start with these lines…
The year is ’94, in my trunk is raw
In my rearview mirror is the motherfuckin’ law
Got two choices, y’all: pull over the car or
Bounce on the devil, put the pedal to the floor
And I ain’t tryin’ to see no highway chase with Jake
Plus I got a few dollars, I can fight the case
So I pull over to the side of the road
I heard, ‘Son, do you know why I’m stopping you for?’
‘Cause I’m young and I’m black and my hat’s real low?
Do I look like a mind reader, sir? I don’t know
-99 Problems, The Black Album
Did he just spit an entire conversation?
2. Remember when he suddenly became Italian on F*ckwithmeyouknowigotit…
Lucky Luciano is what they call me, paesano
A 100 keys at the piano
Plays across the Verrazano
El Padrino, in the villa in Venice, sippin’ vino
Not bad for a mulignan
Y’all know like we know, I got it
-F*ckwithmeyouknowigotit, Magna Carta… Holy Grail
3. This one line from Can I Live made it an instant classic…
So I keep one eye open like CBS—you see me stressed, right?
-Can I live, Reasonable Doubt
4. He ended a rapper turnt singer’s career with one song…and he wasn’t even trying…
You niggas singing too much
Get back to rap, you T-Paining too much
I’m a multi-millionaire
So how is it I’m still the hardest nigga here
I don’t be in the project hallway
Talking ’bout how I be in the project all day
That sound stupid to me
If you a gangsta this is how you prove it to me
Nigga just get violent
This is death of auto-tune, moment of silence
-D.O.A (Death of Autotune), The Blueprint 3
5. Kids today will never understand how lit this verse on Venus vs. Mars was…
Hov’s a Blackberry Bold, shorty is a Sidekick
She used to have a man, I used to have a side chick
Shorty got wind, I had to blow the chick off
She got rid of him, they both took the shit hard
Shorty played the piano, me I played with white keys
Shorty from the South, oh I think she like me
Shorty like Pac, me, Big Poppa
She screaming hit ’em up,I’m screaming who shot ya?
I’m on that red wine, shorty like white
Same shit, different toilet, we both getting nice
Me I’m from the Apple, which means I’m a Mac
She’s a PC, she lives in my lap
-Venus vs. Mars, The Blueprint 3
6. Jay went hard for Brooklyn on this track…
I father, I Brooklyn Dodger them
I jack, I rob, I sin
Aww man, I’m Jackie Robinson
‘cept when I run base, I dodge the pen
-Brooklyn (Go Hard), Notorious Soundtrack
7. This line from Dead Presidents literally made us cry tears of joy…
So sick of niggas, “I want money like Cosby,” Who wouldn’t?
This the kinda talk that make me think you probably ain’t got no pudding
-Dead Presidents, Reasonable Doubt
Because there are really too many wannabes out here with no pudding.
8. Let’s not forget these bars from the Black people’s National Anthem, Public Service Announcement…
Hope you don’t think users are the only abusers
Niggas getting high within the game
If you do then, how would you explain?
I’m ten years removed, still the vibe is in my veins
-Public Service Announcement, The Black Album
9. Remember when he gave us What More Can I Say and then “retired?”
Pound-for-pound, I’m the best to ever come around here
Excluding nobody, look what I embody:
The soul of a hustler, I really ran the street
A CEO’s mind, that marketing plan was me
And no I ain’t get shot up a whole bunch of times
Or make up shit in a whole bunch of lines
And I ain’t animated like, say, Busta Rhymes
But the real shit you get when you bust down my lines
Add that to the fact I went plat’ a bunch of times
Times that by my influence on pop culture
I’m supposed to be number one on everybody list
We’ll see what happens when I no longer exist
-What More Can I Say, The Black Album
He had everyone shook with those bars.
10. Let’s not forget when he bodied Nas (his former nemesis) on Takeover…
Had a spark when you started, but now you’re just garbage
Fell from top 10 to not mentioned at all
To your bodyguard’s “Oochie Wally”‘s verse better than yours
Matter of fact, you had the worst flow on the whole fucking song
But I know: the sun don’t shine, then son don’t shine
That’s why your (lame) career’s come to an end
It’s only so long fake thugs can pretend
-Takeover, The Blueprint
Some Jay-Z heads may argue this list should include bars from hits such as, Lucifer, D’evils, and Ni**as in Paris, consider this…the fact that it can be argued that this list is not a list of Jay-Z’s best lyrics, speaks to why he deserves recognition by the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
And even though [insert your favorite rapper’s name here] did not receive this honor, it is still a win for hip-hop.
Congrats to the greatest rapper alive, Jay-Z!