On Tuesday (Nov. 17), DJ Absolut unearthed a previously unheard version of Jay Z’s “The Black Gangster” as part of his weekly series, Mixtape Mondays. The first draft of the song, which was originally titled “This Life Forever,” was featured on Hov’s 1999 album Black Gangster as well as on 2003’s, S. Carter Collection mixtape, XXL reports.
The beginning of the song samples a few lines from the 2004 Spike Lee film, She Hate Me, in which a character asks why, “these rappers think they’re gangsters,” before the Jigga man’s bars follow shortly afterwards.
This isn’t the first time Jay’s throwback joints have made headlines for 2015. After being in an L.A. court for years following claims that his 1999 song “Big Pimpin'” (produced by Timbaland) had used a sample without permission, the judge for the case ruled that the plaintiff did not have enough supporting evidence, ruling in the rapper and producer’s favors.
We’re loving this trip down memory lane, and hopefully Jay comes out with some new material soon. Listen to the previously unreleased joint below.