Six Rare Early Jay-Z Appearances
3. "Can I Get Open"/"Many Styles"
1993 vintage from Original Flavor, the crew helmed by the talented Ski (who would go on to craft Jay's crowning glory, "Dead Presidents"). "Can I Get Open" is the perky club-centric track (complete with a flick showcasing Jay's legendary array of bandanas), while album track "Many Styles" airs out a darker style.
2. "Big Daddy Kane Birthday Freestyle"
Further freestyle antics, this time in honor of Big Daddy Kane's 1991 birthday bash. Flip to the 4:20 mark to hear a hyper Jay rap like he's just injected himself with a dose of uncut caffeine extracted from a batch of Sant'Eustachio arabica coffee beans. Bonus points for the Kool G Rap name-check.
1. "H. P. Get Busy"
Likely Jay-Z's first ever recording to wax, here he's in cahoots with Jaz and his Marcy projects pals on a 1986 curio. The track's based around a drum machine beat embellished with cheesy synths, while the High Potent rappers go back-and-forth with a series of brag raps. "Go Jay! Go Jay! Go, go, go Jay!" prompt his pals, to which a young Shawn confidently predicts, "Jay-Z is my name and forever I'll obtain it."