So Ambitious

Album: The Blueprint 3 (2009)

Songfacts®:

  • This track features Pharrell Williams from the Neptunes production duo. Jay-Z has collaborated with the super-producer on a number of previous occasions including his hits "I Just Wanna Love U (Give It 2 Me)," "Excuse Me Miss" and "Change Clothes."
  • This was the last track recorded for Blueprint 3 and Jay-Z held off on completing his album until he finished the song.
  • This song targets adults who attempt to limit the dreams of youngsters. Williams explained to MTV News: "We wanted to make a record that speaks to kids. There's a couple of lewd words there, but I wanted to make sure that kids heard this record and felt inspired. That's why there's a little bit of anger to it. There's anger in his verses, there's anger in my chorus. That's why I say spiteful things at the top [of the record]. There's anger there, because there's heat. Because you're young and people are telling you what you can and can't do. Unacceptable."
  • This was the first time that Pharrell and Jay-Z had collaborated on a song whilst in different locations rather than together in the studio. Williams told MTV News: "We did it all by phone. One-hundred percent. Phone and e-mail. I've never done that before in my life. I just sent him the joint, 'cause he beat me up for the whole album. He was just kinda like, 'I need something to really tell a story.' And I was like, 'OK.' And I sent him this track. I said, 'I'm sending you clouds with 808s [drums] under it.' There's just clouds, and it's expansive. You can just speak. It's a blank canvas. Then I sent him the hook and played it for him, and he lost his mind."

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