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This Can't Be Life

Artist: Jay-Z Feat. Beanie Sigel & Scarface

Year: 2003

By Mark Devlin | 12 February 2011

One of the greatest things about (real) hip-hop is the genre's ability to address every kind of life situation and human emotion. While party joints have their place, it's the reflective kind of joint that hip-hop does so well, and there are few finer moments than this Kanye West-produced soul searcher from the Roc A Fella camp in 2003.

It finds Jay-Z, stripped of ego and swagger, recalling his humble roots, with Beanie Sigel in similarly sober mood. The last verse, from Scarface, is drenched with emotion, his voice quavering as he recounts the tale of one of his homies losing his kid. This is music that makes sense of life, and a listen to it has more value than any counselling session ever could.

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