The first single to be released from The Dynasty: Roc La Familia, this was the last song recorded for the LP. It was laid down by the rapper just after Roc-A-Fella decided to release it as a Jay-Z solo album rather than a "crew" compilation. The club ready track became Jay's first tune to reach #1 on the Hip-Hop/R&B chart.
The song was produced by The Neptunes and features a hook sung by Pharrell Williams of the duo. The tune also features their future N*E*R*D bandmate Shay Haley and rapper Omillio Sparks. It's success introduced the Neptunes sound of synthesizer riffs and Pharrell falsetto-sung chorus to the mainstream. "My man Sparks had this hook for a while and I was looking for a beat for it," Jay told MTV News. "I was looking all over, calling a lot of producers telling them 'yo I got a hit, I'm telling you I got a hit, all I need is a track to match it,' and it took me a couple of weeks but I found the track... The Neptunes did it."
The song samples Rick James' 1981 single "Give It to Me Baby
" as well as four bars from Notorious B.I.G's "The World Is Filled." (Jay-Z and Biggie Smalls attended Westinghouse Career and Technical Education High School in Brooklyn, New York at the same time).
The original lead single was planned to be "Parking Lot Pimpin'" until Jay changed it the day before the video shoot. "I [had] 'Parking Lot' up and running. It's an incredible, hot song," Hova told MTV News. "I was all ready to go with it but the next day I made this song and it was just the vibe. The vibe of everyone in the studio... the immediate reaction, people were singing it by the time the second hook came on."
The Dave Meyers directed video features cameos from rappers Beanie Sigel, Lil' Kim, Jermaine Dupri, Damon Dash, Lil' Cease, Memphis Bleek, and comedian/actor John Witherspoon, who is best known for his Friday series. Other music promos that Witherspoon has featured in include Field Mob's "Sick of Being Lonely, Goodie Mob's "They Don't Dance No Mo'"and LL Cool J's "Ain't Nobody."
The song was voted #1 by Complex magazine on their Best Songs of the Decade list. They said: "A sing-along anthem so undeniably infectious, it's still an instant party starter to this day."