"Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem)" is a single from American rapperJay-Z's third album Vol. 2... Hard Knock Life. It features a pitch-modified sample of the song "It's the Hard Knock Life" from the 1977 musicalAnnie. The song was produced by The 45 King and at the time of its release was the most commercially successful Jay-Z single. The RIAAcertified it as a gold single in March 1999, and it reached platinum status on July 15, 2015. In addition, it was nominated for Best Rap Solo Performance at the 41st Grammy Awards in 1999. The song peaked at number fifteen on the Billboard Hot 100. Internationally, the song peaked within the top ten of the charts in Canada, Denmark, Germany, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, the Republic of Ireland, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, as well as the top twenty of the charts in Austria and Belgium.
"Hard Knock Life" was ranked number 11 on VH1's 100 Greatest Songs of Hip-Hop.
While it peaked at number fifteen on the Billboard Hot 100, "Hard Knock Life" was also Jay-Z's first single to achieve significant success outside the United States, peaking within the top ten of the charts in several countries, including Canada, Germany and the United Kingdom. In the latter country, "Hard Knock Life" saw its biggest success, entering and peaking at number two on the UK Singles Chart in December 1998, stalling behind Britain's biggest-selling single of 1998, "Believe" by Cher, during its seventh consecutive week at the summit of the chart.