Need a ghetto anthem to play at that family gathering? Then Jay-Z's 'Hard Knock Life' is the one to play. Hard Knock Life is the third studio album by American rapper Jay-Z. It was released on September 29, 1998, by Roc-A-Fella Records and Def Jam Records.
The song that made Jay-Z a superstar. Famously sampling “It’s a Hard Knock Life” from the Annie movie. Jay-Z raps about his rags-to-riches story. Jay-Z transposes this into a song about how he overcame life in the ghetto to achieve massive success.
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Jay-Z's 'Vol. 2… Hard Knock Life' became the Blueprint for Pop-Rap stardom. The song was produced by The 45 King and at the time of its release was the most commercially successful Jay-Z single.
The music video consists of Jay-Z performing outdoors in Brooklyn, New York. Dame Dash appears in the video. "Hard Knock Life" was also Jay-Z's first single to achieve significant success outside the United States, peaking within the top ten of the charts in several countries, including Canada, Germany and the United Kingdom.