Jay-Z once picked his “ultimate cypher”
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Jay-Z once picked his "ultimate cypher"

Jay-Z is the wealthiest man in hip hop, and since 1995, Hov has been bringing us quality music. From Reasonable Doubt to 4:44, the Brooklyn rapper has been around since the days of Big Daddy Kane and Biggie Smalls.

As one of the first artists from the genre to achieve billionaire status, Hov (real name Shawn Carter) is considered to be one of the best rappers of all time. He has made so many clever investments he is now in the upper echelons of black business in America.

In 1995 Jay-Z, along with Dame Dash, created Roc-A-Fella Records to release his debut album, Unreasonable Doubt, and since then, Jay-Z has dominated hip hop. With his final musical endeavour being his 2017 album, 4:44, Jay-Z’s rap career was around 22 years in length.

Jay-Z has worked with many artists in his career. From Kanye West to Eminem and Lil Wayne he has collaborated with the best lyricists in the culture. That said, in 2010, Carter sat down with Charlie Rose to discuss his book, Decoded, and reflected on his journey and favourite artists.

After a lengthy discussion about his life in the Marcy Projects and how he navigated the music industry, Rose and Carter opened up the floor to questions. During the Question & Answer session, one audience member asked Jay-Z which five artists, dead or alive, he would include in his ultimate cypher.

After a brief ponder, Carter responded, “I would choose Biggie because of his ability to tell stories, to be humorous, to be dead serious. He had it all and just his voice alone. I would also choose ‘Pac because of his fire. What he doesn’t have in technical skill would be overcome by passion. His passion could put a lot of guys to sleep.”

He continued, “Kool G Rap, Kane and yeah KRS-One you gotta put him in there as well.” Jay-Z has collaborated with some of these artists in the past including Biggie Smalls and Big Daddy Kane.

You can listen to Jay name his ultimate cypher in the video below.