In honor of Shawn Carter’s (a.k.a Jay Z) 48th birthday here are a few of my favorite songs from him.

1. Big Pimpin’

I remember jamming to this song as a kid when it first hit the radio, I had know idea what Jay was rapping about but I loved the beat. Sixteen years later I still love the song and know all the words.

2. I Just Wanna Love U (Give It 2 Me)

This is another upbeat song from J-hova. Whenever I hear the line “can’t keep her little model hands off me”, I emulate a model touching him all over.

3. Show Me What You Got

Jay’s first single from his comeback album Kingdom Come, Show Me What You Got was worth the wait.

4. Hard Knock Life

Another song I loved as a kid was Hard Knock Life, I remember singing the part sampled from Annie when I heard it on the radio and saw the video on Disney Channel. It wasn’t until I was older that understood the lyrics. 

5. Young Forever

Jay Z’s, The Blueprint 3 had many great tracks but my second favorite after, Empire State of Mind was Young Forever. What makes this such a great track is that parents and kids both liked this song. Kids liked it because of Jay and parents tolerated it because of the sample of a popular 80s song.