Song of the Day #4,898: ‘Dirt Off Your Shoulder’ – Jay-Z

Given the 25-year lag between an artist’s first published recording and their eligibility for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, we’re starting to see the sea change in popular music that took place in the late 90s and early 00s reflected in Rock Hall inductions.

It was around the turn of the millennium that rap and then pop became the dominant forces, while traditional rock faded away. If the Rock Hall hopes to remain relevant and honor artists who debuted after 2000, its membership will start to look less and less like the rockers of years past.

That shift has been highlighted in recent years as more and more rappers join the Hall, prompting the ever popular debate over whether they belong there at all.

If you buy that “rock and roll” is about an attitude and a philosophy more than a specific musical sound, then rap should certainly be included. But if “rock and roll” is about instruments and beats and melodies, not so much.

I’m not sure which side of the argument I support. Apparently there is a Hip-Hop Fall of Fame, just as there’s a Country Music Hall of Fame, so maybe that’s the best way to recognize the greats in those genres (with crossover inductions where they make sense).

I bring this up because my next featured inductee is Jay-Z, nominated in his first year of eligibility and joining a growing list of rappers in the Rock Hall.

If you accept that rappers belong in the Hall, it’s hard to argue against Jay-Z’s inclusion. He has more #1 albums than any other solo artist in history, and more Grammy nominations than any other soloist or band. I personally don’t see the appeal of his music, but I can’t deny the track record.

He’s also a billionaire and married to Beyonce, so this guy is truly winning at life. Entering the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame is probably the 10th best thing that happened to him last month.

[Intro]
You’re now tuned into the muh’fuckin’ greatest (Jigga)
Turn the music up in the headphones (Jigga)
Tim, you can go and brush your shoulder off, nigga
I got you, yeah, uhh

[Chorus]
If you feeling like a pimp
Nigga, go and brush your shoulders off
Ladies is pimps too, go and brush your shoulders off
Niggas is crazy, baby, don’t forget that boy told you
Get that dirt off your shoulder

[Verse 1]
I probably owe it to y’all, probably be locked by the force
Tryin’ to hustle some things that go with the Porsche
Feelin’ no remorse, feelin’ like my hand was forced
Middle finger to the law, nigga, grippin’ my balls
Said the ladies, they love me, from the bleachers they screamin’
All the ballers is bouncin’, they like the way I be leanin’
All the rappers be hatin’ off the track that I’m makin’
But all the hustlers, they love it, just to see one of us make it
Came from the bottom of the bottom, to the top of the pops
Nigga, London, Japan and I’m straight off the block
Like a running back, get it? Man, I’m straight off the block
I can run it back, nigga, ‘cause I’m straight with the Roc

[Chorus]
If you feeling like a pimp
Nigga, go and brush your shoulders off
Ladies is pimps too, go and brush your shoulders off
Niggas is crazy, baby, don’t forget that boy told you
Get that dirt off your shoulder

[Post-Chorus]
You gotta get that dirt off your shoulder
You gotta get that dirt off your shoulder
You gotta get that dirt off your shoulder
You gotta get that dirt off your shoulder

[Verse 2]
Your homie Hov’ in position, in the kitchen with soda
I just whipped up a watch, tryin’ to get me a Rover
Tryin’ to stretch out the coca, like a wrestler, yessir
Keep the Heckler close, you know them smokers’ll test ya
But, like, 52 cards went out, I’m through dealin’
Now 52 bars come out, now you feel ’em
Now 52 cars roll out, remove ceilin’
In case 52 broads come out, now you chillin’
With a boss, bitch, of course, S.C. on the sleeve
At the 40/40 club, ESPN on the screen
I paid a grip for the jeans, plus the slippers is clean
No chrome on the wheels, I’m a grown-up for real

[Chorus]
If you feeling like a pimp
Nigga, go and brush your shoulders off
Ladies is pimps too, go and brush your shoulders off
Niggas is crazy, baby, don’t forget that boy told you
Get, that, dirt off your shoulder

[Post-Chorus]
You gotta get that dirt off your shoulder
You gotta get that dirt off your shoulder
You gotta get that dirt off your shoulder
You gotta get that dirt off your shoulder

[Verse 3]
Your boy back in the building; Brooklyn, we back on the map
Me and my beautiful bee-itch in the back of that ‘Bach
I’m the realest to run it, I just happen to rap
I ain’t gotta clap at ’em, niggas scared of that black
I drop that Black Album, then I back out it
As the best rapper alive, nigga, ask ’bout me
From bricks to Billboards, from grams to Grammy’s
From O’s to opposite of Orphan Annie
You gotta pardon Jay, for sellin’ out the Garden in a day
I’m like a young Marvin in his hey’
I’m a hustler, homie, you a customer crony
Got some dirt on my shoulder; could you brush it off for me?

[Chorus]
If you feeling like a pimp
Nigga, go and brush your shoulders off
Ladies is pimps too, go and brush your shoulders off
Niggas is crazy, baby, don’t forget that boy told you
Get, that, dirt off your shoulder

[Post-Chorus]
You gotta get that dirt off your shoulder
You gotta get that dirt off your shoulder
You gotta get that dirt off your shoulder
You gotta get that dirt off your shoulder

[Outro]
You’re now tuned into the mu’fuckin’ greatest
Best rapper alive, best rapper alive

2 thoughts on “Song of the Day #4,898: ‘Dirt Off Your Shoulder’ – Jay-Z

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    I too don’t really get the acclaim or accolades for Jay Z, but his accomplishments warrant inclusion in the Hall.

    And, as I have said in the past, I think the answer is to change the name of the Hall to Popular or Contemporary Music Hall of Fame, though, admittedly, those are less sexy descriptors than the Rock Hall.

  2. Peg says:

    10th best thing LOL. I don’t think rap belongs in the Rock Hall. Just saying

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