Jay-Z is paying homage to his deceased friends and musical peers on a new track.
On what's being called the remix of Aaliyah's "Miss You," Jay starts off talking to the fallen songbird, saying, "What's up baby girl? You know I had to talk to you again," before listing the names of loved ones who are missing her, like Timbaland, Missy Elliott and her brother, Rashad.
"Dame [Dash] told me to tell you, he's doing well/ Due to the circumstances it could've been Bellevue/ I ain't got to tell you, you looking over us, our little angel," he goes on to rap with a down South bounce flow.
Jay also addresses New York radio host Star, who poked fun at Aaliyah's death on-air shortly after her plane crashed (see "Aaliyah Killed In Plane Crash"). Jigga talks to Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac as well, expressing disdain for all the MCs who bit their rhyme style, and he tells them how rap hasn't been the same since they were murdered (see "Biggie, Jam Master Jay, Left Eye And Their Mothers Honored At B.I.G. Night Out").
It's not yet known where the song will appear, if it will be sold commercially or where proceeds from the single will go, according to a spokesperson for Jay.
With all the time Jay spends in the studio, you just know that the tribute song isn't the only material he's recorded lately. He just wrapped up production on a remix to Talib Kweli's current single, "Get By," with Kanye West, and he expanded outside the hip-hop genre, recording a collaboration with international dance artist MC Punjabi.
Next month, Jay will return to his roots in the street with the S. Carter Collection mixtape around the same time his S. Carter Collection sneaker hits stores on April 18. Among the material featured on the CD will be several unreleased freestyles from Young Hova.
For a full-length feature on the importance of mixtapes, check out "Mixtapes: The Other Music Industry."