Retro GIF Booth: Jay Z’s “Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem)” 15 Years Later

by (@sllambe)

No one could deny the appeal of singing “instead of treated / we get tricked! / instead of kisses / we get kicked,” especially when the little girl from the video gave it a new level of sass.

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While the song was hardly Jay Z’s debut, its crossover appeal introduced the rapper to heaps of new fans turning Hova into the massive entertainer he is today.

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(And this was all pre-Beyonce!)

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The only real negative about this song? The wave of kiddie choruses (“Get Out,” Busta Rhymes) and sped up samples (“Through The Wire,” Kanye West) that flooded the airwaves the years following its release.

More from the Retro GIF Booth.

[GIF: Stacy Lambe/VH1]