Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem)

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"Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem)"
Single by Jay-Z
from the album Vol. 2... Hard Knock Life
Released October 27, 1998
Format 12-inch single, Cassette, CD, Vinyl
Recorded 1998
Genre East Coast hip hop
Length 3:58 (Album Version)
3:36 (Edit)
Label Roc-A-Fella, Def Jam
Writer(s) Shawn Carter/Charles Strouse/Martin Charnin
Producer(s) The 45 King
Certification Gold (RIAA) Silver (BPI)
Jay-Z singles chronology
"Can I Get A..."
"Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem)"
"Money, Cash, Hoes (Remix)"

"Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem)" is a single from rapper Jay-Z's third album Vol. 2... Hard Knock Life. It samples the song "It's the Hard Knock Life" from the Broadway musical Annie. The song was produced by The 45 King and at the time of its release, was the most commercially successful Jay-Z single. The RIAA certified it as a gold single in March 1999. In addition, it was nominated for Best Rap Solo Performance at the 41st Grammy Awards in 1999.

Chart performance and success[edit]

It was ranked number 11 on VH1's 100 Greatest Songs of Hip-Hop.

"Hard Knock Life" was Jay-Z's first single to achieve success outside the U.S., reaching the top ten in several countries, including number two in the United Kingdom.

Usage in pop culture[edit]

The song was parodied by Mike Myers as his character Dr. Evil in the 2002 movie Austin Powers in Goldmember.[1]

Comedy rap trio Sudden Death parodied the song on their album Die Laughing (2005), titled "Star Trek Life".[2]

Chart positions[edit]

Peak positions[edit]

Chart (1998-1999) Peak
Australia (ARIA) 31
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40) 14
Belgian (Ultratop 50) 11
Canada (RPM) 6
Denmark (Tracklisten)[3] 6
France (SNEP) 21
Germany (Media Control Charts) 5
Ireland (IRMA) 9
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40) 6
New Zealand (RIANZ) 10
Norway (VG-lista) 4
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan) 6
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade) 7
United Kingdom (The Official Charts Company) 2
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 15
U.S. Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks 10
U.S. Billboard Hot Rap Singles 2

End of year charts[edit]

End of year chart (1998) Position
U.S. Billboard Hot 100[4] 89

Single track list[edit]

UK CD[edit]

  1. "Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem) (Radio Edit)"
  2. "Can't Knock The Hustle (Fools Paradise Remix)"
  3. "Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem) (Album Version)"



  1. "Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem) (swearing version)"
  2. "Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem) (LP Version)"


  1. "Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem) (Instrumental)"

See also[edit]

Turn Up, Ghetto Anthem (Hard Knock Life) - Jay Z (ft. 2 Chainz)


External links[edit]