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Izzo (H.O.V.A.) by Jay-Z
Album: The BlueprintReleased: 2001Charted:
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.
This was Kanye West's first hit single as a producer. It became such a calling card that on "Through The Wire
," he referred to himself as "Mr H -to-the-Izzo's back to wi-zerk."