Happy 40th Birthday Jay-Z! (You Can/Should Retire Now)

12/04/2009 12:31 PM |

Young Jay-Z

Like his momma said on the song: “Shawn Carter was born December 4th.” December 4th, 1969 to be exact, which makes today Jay-Z’s big 4-0. (Incidentally, the Atlantic City outpost of his appropriately named club The 40/40 Club has been in the news because some bouncers beat up some patrons, probably not the sort of thing dude wants to be dealing with on his 40th birthday.) Anywho… this seems like as good a time as any to look back at some of Jay’s early material—I don’t really feel up to doing a Top 40 right now, maybe Monday. Check out my favorite young Jay-Z verse after the jump and leave your picks in the comments.

Jay’s verse starts at 2:55, and it’s absolutely ridiculous. This is when he was best known as a really, really fast rapper, and he doesn’t disappoint here. I really like this part: “Creep through your block/fuck a glock, I step/through your neighborhood armed with nothin’ but a rep.”