There's more to Ye and Jay's relationship than meets the eye.
17 years ago, Kanye West joined Roc Nation’s team of in-house producers after a hot streak of production credentials for hit songs and, most notably, creating several beats that Jay Z would use for his famed album The Blueprint. A lot of critics are adamant that Kanye saved Jay from a dying career - though to say this is to take away from the incredible chemistry the two exhibited on their shared ascension to the hip-hop throne. You can’t have one without the other. Kanye just happened to be the best at giving Jay a beat to lay down his verses on. They developed their sounds together, so much so that a sizeable amount of hip-hop listeners could recognize a Kanye West beat years before The College Dropout arrived, and that’s largely thanks to Hov for putting him on. Now the world holds both Jay and Kanye up as legendary artists, a status 17 years in the making.
In light of their recent spat over TIDAL and the Saint Pablo Tour, we’ve compiled what we believe to be some of the best Kanye West-produced Jay Z tracks to come out over the last two decades. But oh man, what a story it would be if Jay took an old Kanye beat and laid down a Kanye-diss over it...At the same time, we hope that never happens (?!).
Be sure to check out our sister list here, where we cover the best joint-rappin' Jay Z and Kanye West tracks of all time. Also, for your own education, here’s our history of Jay and Kanye’s beef that’s developed over the course of the last year.
Photo Credit: Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images
*Note* we're missing embeds for a lot of these songs on this list due to TIDAL's exclusivity of Hov tracks, not for lack of trying.