Toppa Top 10: Jay-Z’s Most Jamaican Moments

10 9 8 7 6 5/4 3 2 1 +1 +2
July 16, 2013

5/4. “Lucifer” and “Encore” (2003)

Jay-Z’s Jamaican moment: โ€œLuciferโ€ samples Max Romeoโ€™s โ€œChase the Devilโ€ and โ€œEncoreโ€ samples John Holtโ€™s โ€œI Will.โ€

Back when Jay-Z’s alleged swan song The Black Album dropped in 2003, “Change Clothes” and “99 Problems” were the LP’s big singles. But over the decade that’s followed, “Chase the Devil” and “Encore” have proven to be two of the album’s most durable tracks. What both records have in common, besides production from Kanye West, are samples of great reggae artists. “Lucifer” flips a vocal clip and instrumentation fromย Max Romeoโ€™s โ€œChase the Devil,โ€ย  off of the singer’s Lee “Scratch” Perry-produced War In A Babylon. “Encore,”ย intended to be Jay-Zโ€™s grand send off on his retirement album, is lead by the horns from John Holtโ€™s reggae cover of The Beatlesโ€™ โ€œI Will.โ€

For a super super bonus, check out Toronto crew the Black Jays’ remix of “Lucifer” featuring Kardinal Offishall, which swapped “Chase the Devil” for an even more irie sample, in Dennis Brown’s “Wolves & Leopards.”