"Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem)" was released in 1998 and was on Jay-Z's third album, Vol. 2... Hard Knock Life.

It uses a sample from an unlikely place, the musical Annie. "Hard Knock Life" uses the sample from the 1977 version of "It's The Hard Knock Life" from Annie. 

The song was a critical and commercial success. It was one of the first Jay-Z's songs to chart well outside of the North America. According to Wikipedia, " ...'Hard Knock Life' saw its biggest success, entering and peaking at number two on the UK Singles Chart in December 1998, stalling behind Britain's biggest-selling single of 1998, "Believe" by Cher..."

I mean, coming in behind Cher is nothing to sneeze at.

"Hard Knock Life" also charted well in America, it peaked at #15 on Billboard Hot 100 and #2 on Hot Rap Singles chart. The song was also nominated for the Best Rap Solo Performance Grammy in 1999.

VH1 also put the song at #11 on their countdown of 100 Greatest Songs of Hip-Hop.


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