Jay Z has written an introduction to Rolling Stone Magazine’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time List.
In his essay, Jay Z talks about the key elements a song should have:
“A great song has all the key elements — melody; emotion; a strong statement that becomes part of the lexicon; and great production.”
On how he feels when he writes:
“When I’m writing a song that I know is going to work, it’s a feeling of euphoria. It’s how a basketball player must feel when he starts hitting every shot, when you’re in that zone. As soon as you start, you get that magic feeling, an extra feeling. Songs like that come out in five minutes; if I work on them more than, say, 20 minutes, they’re probably not going to work.”
About his best material:
“Some of my best songs aren’t the biggest ones. A song like “Can I Live” is so full of emotion to me — it was better than “Hard Knock Life” or “Empire State of Mind,” but it lacked that accessibility.”
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