Jay-Z’s Reasonable Doubt will always be a classic on my list and continues to hold up even 17 years later. However, before I went all in with my allowance money on the Jay-Z debut album, I purchased the split single of “Dead Presidents/”Ain’t No N***a” featuring the one and only Foxy Brown (Amazon). The original “Dead Presidents” instantly felt timeless with Hova spitting narratives of street dreams over the lush Ski Beatz production and a well-placed sample of Nas’ “The World Is Yours”. For some reason, a different version surfaced when Reasonable Doubt dropped with the same beat, but part II wasn’t quite as good. A curious situation to say the least.
Fast forward to 2013 and a day before non-Samsung users can cop Magna Carta Holy Grail (Amazon) and the GOAT just wrapped up a surprising Twitter Q&A session. An astute fan asked if “Dead Presidents 3” would ever see the light of day. The track was rumored during the American Gangster days and previously leaked in 2007, but I’m glad to hear I wasn’t the only one interested DP3. Mr. Carter gave his trusty engineer Young Guru to go-ahead to release the track, which features a verse from The Black Album‘s “Moment of Clarity”. How’s that for history of Hov? Stream below.
Props to Wikipedia for helping with my cobwebs.