What Do Jay-Z, Santogold, and Biggie Smalls All Have in Common?


“Brooklyn (Go Hard)” is indeed chockablock with all things Brooklyn: Jay-Z deploys a phony Jamaican patois; riffs on a local hero (“I Brooklyn Dodger them / I jack, I rob, I sin, amen / I'm Jackie Robinson / except when I run base, I dodge the pen”); and borrows the borough’s own Santogold for a sample (off “Shove It”) and a guest verse. This all presumably owes to the song being destined for the soundtrack to Notorious, the Biggie Smalls biopic. (Do we need to tell you where Biggie’s from?) The track’s one interloper, Kanye West, comes correct with an ominously bombastic beat — think “Jesus Walks.”

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