Before collaborating with Rihanna, Kanye West, Justin Timberlake and Alicia Keys and before he married Beyonce, Jay-Z was doing just fine on his own, musically speaking. His music dates back to the early 90’s, when most of his current-day fans were like, barely babies! Crazy, right? Today, Mr. Carter turns 44, and today, we look back at his best songs of yesteryear. And you thought “Holy Grail” was Sean Carter’s best song ever? Psh.

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Getty Images

Everyone in 5th grade couldn’t stop singing “Bounce with me, bounce with me” at all times. Fact.

It’s weird that Jay-Z had a song and album called “Hard Knock Life,” because now, he’s composing the music for the 2014 movie-version of Annie. Full circle, guys.

“N**** What, N**** Who” reminds me a lot of Dr. Dre’s “Forgot About Dre.”  I just love this song so much despite the super foul language.

Did Jay-Z invent the term, “pimpin’?” Might as well have. This song is a masterpiece.

The greatest movie moment of 2013 was when The Great Gatsby featured a split second of Jay-Z’s classic hit, “Izzo,” in the film. This song still holds up.

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Sure, Beyonce was in this picture at this point, but this song is pre-wedding. Still counts as an amazing classic Jay jam.

Try listening to this song and not doing that hand-motion where you brush your shoulder off. You can’t because IT’S IMPOSSIBLE.

If you don’t love “99 Problems,” I feel bad for you, son.

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What’s your all-time favorite Jay Z song? What are your bday wishes for him this year? Tweet us @OKMagazine.

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