In 2014, its hard to watch that video without immediately thinking of:
Vol. 3: Life and Times of S. Carter was Jay Z’s 1999 release. “Big Pimpin” was the fifth single from the album and did really very well for a fifth single. UGK were featured rappers on the track and it was produced by Timbland.
Apparently, Jay Z regrets writing the lyrics to this one:
“Some [lyrics] become really profound when you see them in writing. Not ‘Big Pimpin.’ That’s the exception. It was like, I can’t believe I said that. And kept saying it. What kind of animal would say this sort of thing? Reading it is really harsh.” (Wall Street Journal
Yeah, he’s right, but the song is so damn catchy its easy to completely overlook the lyrical content. I didn’t even think about it until I read that quote from Jay Z and then I was like “whoa, yeah, he’s right.”
Despite that, the song remains one of his most popular tracks and is covered rather a bunch. I especially enjoy this cover by Katy Perry:
Timbland made extensive use from a sample from an Egyptian song titled “Khosara Khosara” by Abdel Halim Hafez:
This was the subject of a pair of lawsuits. You’ll hear the part that was sampled as soon as you start the video, but the whole song is really interesting.