Song of the Day #1,873: ‘Brooklyn’s Finest’ – Jay-Z

jay-z_reasonable_doubtYesterday’s Jay-Z track, ’99 Problems,’ was from 2003’s The Black Album, a record that the rapper claimed at the time would be his last (didn’t quite turn out that way).

Today’s track is from Jay-Z’s first album, Reasonable Doubt, released seven years earlier in the summer of ’96. The song features Notorious B.I.G., another total mystery to me, so this should give me a chance to check them both out.

OK, I’ve read the lyrics and I feel like much of it was in a foreign language. On this album, Jay-Z was just emerging from his life as a drug-dealing street hustler, so I guess in a way he is speaking a different tongue.

I can’t say I’m all that stirred by the dueling braggadocio, but this album has been consistently lauded as one of the finest in its genre so I’ll give it the benefit of the doubt.

OK, I’ve listened to it, and I like the song a lot more than I thought I would. It has a great-sounding R&B backing track and both rappers have impressive flow (I hope I’m using the lingo correctly, or at least as correctly as can be expected of a 40-year-old suburban white man).

Is this better than a hundred similar songs by a hundred other rappers? That I don’t know.

[Intro]
OKAY, I’m RELOADED!!!
You motherfuckers, think you big time?
Fuckin with Jay-Z, you gon’ die, big time!
Here come the “Pain”!

[Jay-Z]
Jigga… (Jigga), Bigga… (Bigga)
Nigga, how you figure… (how you figure)
Yeah, yeah, yeah, aiyyo

Peep the style and the way the cops sweat us (uh-huh)
The number one question is can the Feds get us (uh-huh)
I got vendettas in dice games against ass bettors (uh-huh)
And niggas who pump wheels and drive Jettas
Take that with ya

[Notorious B.I.G.]
.. hit ya, back split ya
Fuck fist fights and lame scuffles
Pillow case to your face, make the shell muffle
Shoot your daughter in the calf muscle
Fuck a tussle, nickel-plated
Sprinkle coke on the floor, make it drug-related
Most hated

[Jay-Z]
.. can’t fade it
While y’all pump Willie, I run up and stunt silly
Scared, so you sent your little mans to come kill me
But on the contrilli, I packs the mack-milli
Squeezed off on him, left them paramedics breathing soft on him
What’s ya name?

[Notorious B.I.G.]
.. Who shot ya? Mob ties like Sinatra
Peruvians tried to do me in, I ain’t paid them yet
Tryin to push 700’s, they ain’t made them yet
Rolex and bracelets is frostbit; rings too
Niggas ’round the way call me Igloo Stick Who?
Motherfucker!

[Hook]
Jay-Z and Biggie Smalls, nigga shit your drawers
(Where you from?) Brooklyn, going out for all
Marcy – that’s right – you don’t stop
Bed-Stuy.. you won’t stop, nigga!

[Jay-Z]
What, what, what?
Jay-Z, Big’ Smalls, nigga shit your drawers
Brooklyn represent y’all, hit you fold
You crazy, think your little bit of rhymes can play me?
I’m from Marcy, I’m varsity, chump, you’re J.V
(Jigga) Jay-Z

[Notorious B.I.G.]
.. and Bigga baby!
My Bed-Stuy flow’s malicious, delicious
Fuck three wishes, made my road to riches
From 62’s, gem stars, my moms dishes
Gram chopping, police van docking
D’s at my doors knocking

[Jay-Z]
What? Keep rocking
No more mister nice Guy, I twist your shit
The fuck back with them pistols
Blazin’, hot like Cajun
Hotter than even holding work at the Days Inn
With New York plates outside
Get up out of there – fuck your ride

[Notorious B.I.G.]
Keep your hands high, shit gets steeper
Here comes the Grim Reaper, Frank White
Leave the keys to your Integra. (That’s right)
Chill homie, the bitch in the Shoney’s told me
You’re holding more drugs than a pharmacy, you ain’t harming me
So pardon me, pass the safe, before I blaze the place
And here’s six shots just in case
(Brooklyn… Brooklyn… Brooklyn…)

[Hook]
Jay-Z and Biggie Smalls, nigga shit your drawers
(Where you from?) Brooklyn going out to all
(Crown Heights…) You don’t stop
(Brownsville…) You won’t stop, nigga!
(Brooklyn… Brooklyn… Brooklyn…)
Hah hah! Jay-Z and Biggie Smalls, nigga shit your drawers
(Where we from?) Brooklyn going out to all
(Bushwick…) You don’t stop
(Fort Greene…) You won’t stop, niggas!

[Jay-Z]
From ‘9-6, the only MC with a flu
Yeah I rhyme sick, I be what you’re trying to do
Made a fortune off Peru, extradite, china white heron
Nigga please, like short sleeves I bear arms
Stay out my way from here on (CLEAR?) Gone!

[Notorious B.I.G.]
Me and Gutter had 2 spots
The 2-for-5 dollar hits, the blue tops
Gotta go, Coolio mean it’s getting “Too Hot”
If Fay’ had twins, she’d probably have two Pacs
Get it? .. Tu-pac’s

[Jay-Z]
Time to separate the pros from the cons
The platinum from the bronze
That butter soft shit from that leather on the Fonz
A S1 diamond from a I class don
A Chandon sipper from a Rosé nigga, huh?!
Brook-Nam, sipping on

[Notorious B.I.G.]
Cristal forever, play the crib when it’s mink weather
The M.A.F.I.A. keep cannons in they Marc Buchanans
Usually cuatro cinco, the shell sink slow, tossing ya
Mad slugs through your Nautica, I’m warning ya
(Hah, what the fuck?)

[Hook]
Jay-Z and Biggie Smalls, nigga shit your drawers
(Where you from?) Brooklyn going out to all
(Flatbush…) You don’t stop
(Redhook…) You won’t stop, nigga!
(Brooklyn… Brooklyn… Brooklyn…)
Jay-Z and Biggie Smalls, nigga shit your drawers
(Where you from?) Brooklyn goin’ out to all
(East New York…) You don’t stop
(Clinton Hill…) You won’t stop, nigga!
{“Is Brooklyn in the house?”}

[Outro]
Roc-A-Fella, y’all, Junior M.A.F.I.A
Superbad click, Brooklyn’s Finest, you re-wind this
Representing BK to the fullest

2 thoughts on “Song of the Day #1,873: ‘Brooklyn’s Finest’ – Jay-Z

  1. Dana says:

    Don’t discredit your opinion. Most of the critics praising this album were probably 40 year old white suburban guys.😄

    Not a bad rap, and for some reason, I have always liked Biggie’s voice. It is distinct and immediately distinguishable from the more ubiquitous tone of Jay Z’s voice. As with other genres I like, a unique voice usually elevates the songs of a particular artist above the din.

  2. Shawn says:

    I got 99 problems with music and rap is one of them. But thanks for taking a look at it because I wouldn’t have otherwise. I just don’t get it for the most part. Talking songs are cool but every song like that on an album and then again on your next album? It’s just too much and I like songs with a emphasis on the rhythm. I think Ray Charles said something like that about rap years ago. He said he did talking songs too but then he moved on to something else.

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