Let’s travel back to Sept. 29, 1998, when JAY Z’s 5x platinum and third studio album, Vol. 2… Hard Knock Life was released to the Rap World. While the album produced many a single, including the lead title track plus “Can I Get A,” “Nigga What, Nigga Who,” “Money Ain’t a Thang” and the DMX-assisted “Money, Cash, Hoes,” when brought up in rap circles, heads sometimes forget to mention the Erick Sermon/Rockwilder-produced “Reservoir Dogs.”
Backed by the funky wah-wah guitar loop of Isaac Hayes’ “Theme From Shaft,” “Reservoir Dogs” served as more of a mixtape cut than an album track, but thankfully they included it in between the mainstream sounds of the aforestated singles -not to say that those same singles were weak, just that we needed a dose of that raw and uncut.
The LOX and Beanie Sigel (before they would trade scathing bars toward each other) alongside Sauce Money, all brought their A-game on the raw, five-minute cut, with not a chorus in sight, save for the short Pain in Da Ass interlude. So many quotables are scattered throughout:
Drop 100 bars for real like I’m lookin’ for a deal
If I ain’t hungry, who the fuck is, I’m worse than them African kids
As I get roasted lookin’ at Biggie posted on my wall
Takin’ shots of Louie til’ I fall
Nuttin’ to lose, just load the clip up in the groove
and kick rhymes to the poster, til’ I swear Big move
Yo, pressure bust pipes, it’s time to apply it now
Pick out a quiet town and tie it down
You really wanna test my name? And test my game?
Until you have me, test my aim?
Y’all niggaz nuts, like testicles
Gangstas don’t die, they get chubby, and move to Miami
Anytime I spit, spit acid, L.O.X.
Ruffryder ya heard? We got the game mastered
Bout to go to hell with you, blow the L with you
Tell the whole world I’m spittin let em know the shells hit you
My name ring bells like Sunday at twelve o’clock
I’m half past seven, bust six then eleven
Watch your manners when my veins pop like scanners
Like raindrops you hear the thunder when I cock the cannon
Get brain in the 4.6 Range
Shit mayne, switch lanes
every town I hit, switch planes, bitch flipped big caine
Flow with no cut, you take it in vain to the brain
Mufuckas is noddin’ and throwin’ up, you know that
You don’t wanna owe that man
He’ll hit you, get the picture? Kodak man
We don’t stop at the tolls we got EZ passes, nigga