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Izzo (H.O.V.A.)

by

Jay-Z



Songfacts®:  You can leave comments about the song at the bottom of the page.

The line "H to the Izz-O, V to the Izz-A" is a slang method of spelling out H.O.V.A. It was a trizzend in the rizzap community to put "izz" in words.
"Hova" refers to what Jay-Z calls his "God Name," which is "Jay-Hova," as in Jehovah.
Jay-Z raps about himself throughout the song. It is a short summary of his life, including how he sold crack in Brooklyn and showed his entrepreneurial streak by going to Virginia and Maryland to peddle drugs there for a bigger profit. Proceeds from drug dealing allowed him to finance his first album and start Roc-A-Fella Records.
In this, Jay-Z says he is "Not Guilty," referring to an incident in December, 1999 where he was accused of stabbing a record producer at a New York City nightclub. After this came out, he was found guilty and sentenced to probation.
This samples "I Want You Back" by The Jackson 5. It was produced by a pre-famous Kanye West, who does a lot of sampling on his tracks. West also produced Jay-Z's "Takeover," which sampled The Doors' "Five To One," and Twista's "Slow Jamz," which samples Luther Vandross' "A House Is Not A Home."
The coach of the Michigan State basketball team is named Tom Izzo. His players would sing this to him to drive him nuts.
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Comments (11):

I thought Frankie "Double Dutch Bus" Smith gets credit for the first putting the "izzi" in the vocabulary and songs?
- Bill, pensacola, FL
"Hovah" means mischief or ruin.In the book of Tehillim / Ps 119:150 "Those who pursue mischief (Hovah) have drawn near; They have been far from Your Torah (Law). Amein (Let it be so).Hovah is pagan and there is No letter "J" in Hebrew.
- Deborah, Chicago, IL
for the record, jehovah is not jesus. thats his father
- d, clarkston, GA
Hmm... the "ZZ" is words is crip talk... started in CA.. Snoop brought it mainstream but it has been in the blocc for decades. NO its is not Jay's "GOD NAME" it is, infact a metaphore. Jay Hova as in Jehova as in Christ.. the savior of humanity.. Jay is the self appointed savior of hip hop. H.O.V.A. refers to the fact that he spells his name in this tracc.. nothing more, nothing less.
- Se7, Pomona, CA
The general info is helpful. I think HOVA means a lot more than just Jay-Hova though. I mean it's an acronym - with the periods so it might stand for something. Also think of usages like Show Hova i.e. 'show over'. S. Carter often references biblical parables, for instance the book of Matthew in which I believe is contained early on the line Emmanual interpreted as 'god with us' or 'Us'. Hova is Us. We are Hova.

Otherwise some of the feedback is sound, you'd have to know the drug game and how those markets work and what it's like to play on those markets and I guess survive to really appreciate where S. Carter is coming from. However, anything you need to know about S. Carter are contained in his lines much like the historical Shakespeare is of less significance than his impact which is immense and profound.
- Luke, Toronto, Canada
yo, this is the whitest representation of people talking about a hiphop song, i mean look at where you people are coming from. you gotta look to where the song came from first, instead of trying to relate it to what you already know in your own lives. i mean c'mon southampton, no matter what way you try to spin that s*** you prolly got more money than the rest of us, yet you try to get all gangsta on the rest of us...is that southhampton longisland, cause that's "mad ghetto son". jay-z isn't a stupid guy, what he's raps about means something deeper most of the time, so look for it rather than trying to face value that s***. i keep saying, think about where this came from, listen to some old skool jay z and it'll make sense, same with the rest of hiphop...
- graham, new york, NY
It was not a 'trizzend in the 'rizzap industry that spawned this way of speaking, rather a slang or lingo from the ghetto that has been around for years, allowing those who knew to communicate covertly right in front of the average person that is unfamiliar with this method of speech.
- eric, southhampton, United States
Mike Myers parodied this song in Austin Powers: Goldmember, when his Character ''Dr. Evil'' refers to himself as ''D to the Rizzo, E to the Vizzo, I to the Lizzo''.
- Joey, Boston, MA
This is a pretty creative use of a sample. Unlike most samples which tend to be blatant copies of the original, this one is pretty subtle. I actually didn't realize that Kanye had sampled ''I Want You Back'' until I read it here.
- Joey, Boston, MA
Once again the English language is becoming harder to understand.
- Jonathan, Bradford, MA
Thanks for the information. It's really helpful.
- Liang, Beijing, China
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