A JAY-Z Top Five Introspective Songs Rebuttal
Consider this my Life and Times Volume 2 to Clark‘s Volume 1. Clark’s piece of the top 5 Introspective JAY-Z songs had me asking myself two questions: a) what’d he miss? b) why’d I feel he missed them?
The answer to b): I felt he missed them because he missed songs that spoke to me personally.
The problem with ranking rap songs is that song rankings are highly subjective. Sure, you can measure rap songs technically (flow, rhyme structure complexity, other nerdy shit), debates in barbershops happen over subjective things. While technically speaking the 2017 Warriors are a better basketball team, the ’98 Bulls are the ’98 Bulls.That’s also how song rankings work. I digress. Back to answering b): which introspective JAY-Z song is the best is matter of highly subjective opinion. Which song speaks to you will be very different from which song speaks to another person.
That said, my answer to a):
5. Song Cry / The Blueprint / 2001
This sounds like a love song produced by Just Blaze because that’s exactly what it is. Listen to it behind the lyrics, and you can imagine the music being in a Waiting to Exhale montage. Now add JAY-Z’s lyrics about his relationships going sour and it hits you as a song about choosing work over relationships and pretending not to care. If you’ve ever been in two relationships, one with your job and one with your significant other, you know this song.
He says of him and his girl: “On repeat the CD of BIG’s Me n My Bitch”. I mean, come on – who hasn’t pretended to be that shit.
4. Lost One
I’ll defer to Clark on this one. It’s a great song. The video’s got a one-off Maybach. It’s about loss and coming to terms with that grief. We’ve all had a loss that hit us hard that we felt blame for. JAY Z captures that here.
3. Allure / The Black Album / 2003
[EDITOR’S NOTE: This is my second favorite Jay-Z song, nobody else can I have it. I didn’t include it on my list because I’m selfish, and I want it to myself. Thanks Nimesh]
This song talks to anyone who is chasing something they’ve had to sacrifice a lot for, to anyone who keeps going back to something they know is killing them but god damn it, they just keep going back. If the first step is admitting you have a problem, this song is saying – yea? so? I don’t know why I have a problem, but I have one, and I happen to enjoy it.
“The game is a lightbulb with eleventy-million volts, And I’m just a moth addicted to the floss”
2. You Must Love Me // In My Lifetime, Vol 1.
This is the most slept-on mother’s day / brother’s day / ride-or-die chick’s day card of all time. I’m surprised I haven’t seen these lyrics inside of those oddly specific Papyrus cards that cost $12.00. When Clark posted his article, I understood his rankings for the most part, but leaving this off almost felt criminal. I can’t relate to selling my mom crack nor shooting my brother in the shoulder nor making a girl mule drugs for me – but I can admit to doing heart-breaking things to them and being forgiven. For sleepin on this one Clark, you are forgiven.
“I’m thinkin’ what would make you sacrifice ya life, You must love me”
1. My First Song/ The Black Album / 2003
A Biggie Interview that inspired a song and probably inspired Steve Jobs to say that “stay hungry stay foolish” quote that listless 30 year olds live by – that’s what this song is. It’s about perseverance and staying hungry. It’s about what kept JAY Z motivated until he reached the point he could go somewhere with no mosquitoes. Sure, it’s more upbeat than the rest, and is probably driven more by a quiet rage than a deep regret, but that’s what speaks to loudest. If you have a problem with that, I don’t care. This is my list. Go make your own. I’m out.
“I might even have me a cappuccino, fuck it.”