Five Songs You Didn’t Know Were Written By Jay-Z

BY Nii Ogbamey Tetteh December 12, 2023 9:42 PM EDT
Photo Source: Instagram/@jayzfanspot

Rapper and business mogul Jay-Z, known in real life as Shawn Corey Carter, has been a strong pillar in rap music around the world and continues to be influential in business and global music.

Over the years, Jay-Z has been behind several hit songs. He is known to be a good music writer who has written several songs that people do not even attribute to him.

The 54-year-old rapper just knows how to dig deep into his head to create good music for himself and others like Dr. Dre, Beyonce, and Rihanna among others.

Below are five songs you did not know were written by Jay-Z:

Still D.R.E. (1999)

Still D.R.E falls under one of the best songs from the legendary rapper and beatmaker Dr. Dre that features Snoop Dogg.

When Dr. Dre decided to put together a ‘comeback’ album, he reached out to Jay-Z to give it a try. Jay-Z’s creative session resulted in a fairly shallow song “about diamonds and Bentleys” but that was not what Dre wanted, and it certainly wasn’t what he needed. The Empire State Of Mind hitmaker, in his second attempt, gave birth to the Still D.R.E. hit song. This song was a perfect comeback song for Dre. The song also found renewed success in 2022, after it was performed as the closer at the Super Bowl LVI (56) Halftime Show.

Coming Home (2010)

Coming Home was Diddy‘s redemption song, written by Jay-Z, Skylar Grey, J. Cole, and Alex “da Kid” Grant. Although it wasn’t originally composed for him, the lyrics were changed after Diddy expressed interest in the subject. After hearing this rendition of the song, it’s difficult to imagine it was written for anybody else.

The contemplative hip-hop song recalls significant events in Diddy’s life, including the death of his close friend and label signee, the Notorious B.I.G. The song’s lyrics and textured production, which was also handled by Jay-Z and Grant, were acclaimed by critics.

Break My Soul (2022)

Beyoncé sent the internet into a frenzy on June 20th, 2022, with the release of Break My Soul. The song, which was released as the lead single from her seventh album “Renaissance,” was co-written by the singer herself, with assistance from a few others, including her husband and longtime collaborator Jay-Z. The dance floor-ready single is about rediscovering oneself after a difficult moment, a theme that resonated with people all across the world, many of whom were still recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic.

It was a worldwide smash, hitting the top 20 in a variety of nations and unifying listeners on the human urge to release the stress and forget the rest.

Enough Cryin (2006)

Although he is most recognized as a hip-hop performer, Jay-Z’s songwriting is not restricted to that genre. Mary J. Blige turned to him for help in writing Enough Cryin, the third single from her Grammy-winning album The Breakthrough. The song, which became a Top 40 success in the United States, was about Blige resolving her feelings after a difficult relationship. She even enlists the help of her alter persona, Brook Lynn, who delivers a nasty rap verse at the close of the song. While it’s unclear who inspired the song, Mary J. Blige has confessed that the circumstances surrounding her broken engagement to Jodeci musician K-Ci had a direct impact on the music video.

Big Bad Mamma (1997)

Foxy Brown had a smash early on in her career when she was featured on Jay-Z’s Ain’t No Playa. The song was essential in establishing both rappers as growing stars in the hip-hop business, and it marked the start of their working partnership. Brown’s debut album Ill Na Na included the track Big Bad Mamma, which was written by Jay-Z, Leon Haywood, and the songwriting and production group, Trackmasters. Brown delivers braggadocious phrases in the verses and lets Dru Hill handle the horn-tooting in the chorus with a distinct flow and unmistakable swagger. The song reached No.53 on the Hot 100, becoming her second-highest charting hit as a lead artiste.