“Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem)” is a single from rapper Jay-Z’s third album Vol. 2… Hard Knock Life. It samples the song “It’s the Hard Knock Life” from the Broadway 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. In addition, it was nominated for Best Rap Solo Performance at the 41st Grammy Awards in 1999.
It was ranked number 11 on VH1’s 100 Greatest Songs of Hip-Hop.
The song was parodied by Mike Myers’ character Dr. Evil in the 2002 movie Austin Powers in Goldmember.
“Hard Knock Life” was Jay-Z’s first single to achieve success outside the U.S., reaching the top ten in several countries, including number two in the United Kingdom.