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Def Jam Island Records Party

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In 1998, Jay-Z, the iconic NY rapper and entrepreneur, released his third studio album, “Vol. 2… Hard Knock Life.” This album was a big moment in his career and the genre of hip-hop as a whole. “Hard Knock Life”, featured a sample from the musical “Annie,” and became a hit, displaying Jay’s lyrical abilities and his transition into mainstream appeal.


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Hard Knock Life” brought Jay-Z to success, reaching No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart and earning him his first Grammy Award. The album talked about his past street life, the pursuit of success, and the challenges faced by blacks in America. Jay-Z’s lyrics resonated with a huge fanbase, bridging the gap between underground and commercial hip-hop.

The 1998 Billboard Music Awards

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The album’s success not only solidified Jay-Z’s status as a hip-hop legend but also played an important role in shaping the hip-hop scene. The album influenced future generations of artists and demonstrated the genre’s ability to evolve and adapt to wider audiences while staying true to its roots. “Vol. 2… Hard Knock Life” remains a classic in hip-hop history!

1. Memphis Bleek – Intro (Hand It Down) (Feat. Pain In Da Ass)

2. Jay-Z – Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem)

3. Jay-Z – If I Should Die (Feat. Da Ranjahz)

4. Jay-Z – Ride Or Die

5. Jay-Z – N***a What, N***a Who (Originator 99) (Feat. Jaz-O & Amil)

6. Jay-Z – Money, Cash, Hoes (Feat. DMX & Pain In Da Ass)

7. Jay-Z – A Week Ago (Feat. Too $hort)

8. Jay-Z – Coming Of Age (Da Sequel) (Extended Version) (Feat. Memphis Bleek)

9. Jay-Z – Can I Get A… (Feat. Ja Rule & Amil)

10. Jay-Z – Paper Chase (Feat. Foxy Brown)

11. Jay-Z – Reservoir Dogs (Feat. Beanie Sigel, The LOX & Sauce Money)

12. Jay-Z – It’s Like That (Feat. Kid Capri & Liz Leite)

13. Jay-Z – Money Ain’t A Thang (Feat. Jermaine Dupri) (Bonus Track)