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Top 25 Hip-Hop Songs of the 2000s: #9 Jay-Z “Big Pimpin”Posted by Nathan S. on 12/11/09 | Filed under Features, Jay-Z, Best of the 2000s
To review: In the 2000's Jay-Z retired, un-retired, dropped albums, beat Nas, married the hottest woman on the planet, became the president of Def Jam, left Def Jam to start his own Roc Nation label, and made enough money to swim in it Scrooge McDuck style. If this was a list of the biggest rappers of the decade he's be number one, hands down, but in a countdown of the biggest songs? It's gotta be "Big Pimpin", the most successful single off his fourth album "Vol. 3... Life and Times of S. Carter". Also featuring a not-yet nationally known UGK, "Big Pimpin" hit number #18 on The Billboard Hot 100 and #1 on the rap charts.
Out of all the songs that Jay released over the span of ten years, how do you possibly pick one? It was no easy task, but after much debate we decided on "Big Pimpin" for two main reasons. First, while the real lyrical heads will always have their favorite Hova tracks, this was Jay song that America as a whole most widely embraced (until "Empire State of Mind", but it's too soon to judge the longevity of "Empire" yet). It played in clubs, on the radio, proms, bar mitzvahs; you name it, "Big Pimpin" was there. Second, honestly, this is the most enjoyable song Hova's ever done, a track that when it comes on the radio you almost subconsciously turn the volume up on. "Big Pimpin" is Jay at his gangster-CEO apex, and the track ten years from now I'm still gonna get down to. (Side note: If this was a hottest videos countdown I'd subtract points for having to watch a shirtless and pudgy Dame Dash dance around, but it's not. Moving on...)
It also has to count for something that "Big Pimpin" really put UGK on the map. Would Bun and Pimp C have hit the mainstream without Jay's help? Maybe, but probably not. Name another track that that did more to put on the guest rappers? I can't think of one. And to top it off, this might just be Timbaland's best beat of the decade as well, an impossibly catchy mix of heavy drums and whistles that he samples from the song "Khosara", composed by Egyptian composer Baligh Hamdi in the mid-20th century. Now that's a Timbo sample. This was by no means the biggest song of the decade, but Jay had to be in the top ten, and after careful consideration, "Big Pimpin" had to be the call.
For a complete list of the Top 25 picks so far click here.
Love this selection/hate this selection? Comment below, write about it on your blog or email me at nathan[@]refinedhype.com. Come on, don't be shy.