recently caught up with rapper Jadakiss to get his personal take on his “Most Essential Songs.” Jadakiss came up with a list of 25 songs featuring everyone from Lil’ Kim to DMX.

The Yonkers rapper also spoke on each of the 25 songs explaining how a song came about, how other artists got involved, what it was like working in the studio and more.

One of the 25 songs Jadakiss listed was the 1997 hit “It’s All About The Benjamins (Remix)” featuring Puff Daddy, The Lox, The Notorious B.I.G., and Lil’ Kim. In his conversation with Complex, Jadakiss explained how he helped in writing a small portion of Diddy’s part on the song.

“[Puff] had the beat from The Hitmen. But the rhyme, his first intro, ‘Now, what y’all wanna do, wanna be ballers…,’ I wrote that. I was rhyming in the MIDI room amongst us, we were trading rhymes, me and Styles and whoever was there. He came in, heard me saying that, and was like, ‘I need that!’ Then he put that on the ‘Benjamins’ beat,” said Jadakiss. “He had laid it, but me and Sheek didn’t put nothing down yet. We didn’t really like the beat.”

Jadakiss also added “Blackout” with DMX and Jay-Z, one of The Lox’s first songs while signed to Ruff Ryders, to his “Most Essential Songs” list.

“We were heavy Ryders now. We got off Bad Boy, we’re home sweet home with Ruff Ryders, able to ventilate, say anything we want, comfortable in our skin,” Jadakiss explained. “We were going to Cali for a month, or a few weeks or so, for a video or something. I know we were going to be over there recording. And that was the first song we got in there…Hov was moving around touring. If you hear his verse he was kinda sick. We were catching him in transition before he went to London. And X was already in beast mode. Second album right? Yeah, he had the fire under his ass.”

Other songs included on Jadakiss’ list include “Banned From TV,” “Reservoir Dogs,” and “Kiss Of Death.” 

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