, ,


(2) U Don’t Know (remix) (2002) Jay-Z ft. M.O.P.

Sometimes I need a boost of energy and a reminder of my home borough. In those times, I turn to Just Blaze, Jay-Z and the fine folks from the Mash Out Posse.

Lil’ Fame and Billy Danze bring an aggressive energy to their music that can’t be ignored, especially in small doses (How About Some Hardcore, Ante Up, B.I. vs. Friendship). I’m still not sure that their approach works for an entire album, but there’s no one better at getting you revved up within a short period of time.

Jay wisely avoids any efforts to match M.O.P.’s aggression, opting to complement their rage with something I like to call ‘anthemic Jay-Z’ – clever, slickly delivered lines designed to highlight his wealth and his street roots.

Just Blaze does beautiful things to the Bobby Byrd sample at the center of this track. He has produced countless classic tracks, but this is one of my favorite. He contorts Byrd’s voice until it sounds like an inhuman plea and transforms the brass and drum sections of the song into something magical.