Before Jay-Z became a worldwide phenomenon he was known as an underground emcee hailing from the Marcy Projects in Brooklyn. From his infamous pool hall battle with DMX to freestyling with Big L on the Stretch & Bobbito Show, Jay-Z put in work. He quickly became known as one of the best wordsmiths in hip-hop. After successfully figuring out "the formula' (i.e. "I can't help the poor if I'm one of them"), Jay-Z left the underground scene and catapulted to mainstream success. On Rare And Unreleased
, you will hear some of the songs that never saw mainstream success. Anyone who thinks Jay-Z has always been a commercial artist only has to listen to this collection of rarities to understand why he will always get respect in the streets.