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
ReleasedOctober 27, 1998
GenreEast Coast hip hop
Length3:58 (album version)
3:36 (radio edit)
Producer(s)The 45 King
Jay-Z singles chronology
"Can I Get A..."
"Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem)"
"Money, Cash, Hoes"

"Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem)" is a single from American rapper Jay-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 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, 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.

Usage in media[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]

Formats and track listings[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)"

Charts and certifications[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ http://movies.about.com/library/weekly/aa062902a.htm
  2. ^ http://grooveshark.com/#!/s/Star+Trek+Life/2gvDmm?src=5 Archived 2014-03-29 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ Billboard: Hits of the World, February 27, 1999
  4. ^ "Top 100 Single-Jahrescharts" (in German). GfK Entertainment. Retrieved April 21, 2018.
  5. ^ "Swiss year-end chart". swisscharts.com. 1999. Archived from the original on March 1, 2012. Retrieved November 22, 2017.
  6. ^ "Billboard Top 100 - 1999". Retrieved 2010-08-28.
  7. ^ "British single certifications – Jay-Z – Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem)". British Phonographic Industry. Select singles in the Format field. Select Gold in the Certification field. Type Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem) in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  8. ^ "American single certifications – Jay Z – Hard Knock Life". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH. 
  9. ^ "Best-Selling Records of 1999". Billboard. BPI Communications Inc. 112 (4): 63. January 22, 2000. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved June 4, 2015.

External links[edit]