- 1. Can't Knock the Hustle“Can’t Knock the Hustle," <em>Reasonable Doubt</em> (1996)“I gotta, let you niggas know the time like Movado / My motto, stack rocks like Colorado / Auto off the champagne, Cristal's by the bottle."
- 2. Dead Presidents II“Dead Presidents II, ” <em>Reasonable Doubt</em> (1996)“Like white crystals, I gross the most/ At the end of the fiscal year than these n*ggas can wish to/The dead presidential, candidate with the sprinkles and the presidential, ice that'll offend you.”
- 3. Can I Live“Can I Live,” <em>Reasonable Doubt</em> (1996)“You guessed it, manifest it in tangible goods/Platinum Rolexed it, we don't lease/we buy the whole care, as you should.”
- 4. Intro (A Million and One)"Intro: A Million and One," <em>In My Lifetime, Vol. 1</em> (1997)“Can I get a minute to breathe? And in that minute you leave/While I'm looking at my Rol' ice spinning on my sleeve/Ugh, nice watch, do you really have a spot?"
- 5. City Is Mine"The City Is Mine," <em>In My Lifetime, Vol. 1</em> (1997)“Sell half of what I sell because it's not quite my shit/I'm the type to buy a Roley and just ice my shit/On the spot, fuck coming back twice to shit.”
- <<seen>> on the streets of Manhattan on November 25, 2008 in New York City.“Imaginary Players,” <em>In My Lifetime, Vol. 1</em> (1997)“When I see them in the street, I don't see none of that/Damn playboy, where the fuck is the hummer at?/Where is all the ice with all the platinum under that?/Those ain't rolex diamonds, what the fuck you done to that?”
- 7. Streets Is Watching."Streets Is Watching,” <em>In My Lifetime, Vol. 1</em> (1997)“The streets is watching.. when you froze your arms/N*ggas wanna test you and your gun goes warm.”
- 8. Sunshine“(Always Be My) Sunshine,” <em>In My Lifetime, Vol. 1</em> (1997)“Hear in songs, keep in gear phenom/Lots of ice in the air, round the neck the charm/Risked a four to life bid to keep that shit on her arm.”
- 10. Money Ain't“Money Ain’t a Thang,” <em>Vol. 2... Hard Knock Life</em> (1998)“I flex the Rol', sign a check for yo' hoe/Jigga's style is love, X and O.”
- 11. Watch Me“Watch Me,” <em>Vol. 3... Life and Times of S. Carter</em> (1999)“Yo the watch too rocky, need shades/Continental sitting on blades, spinning like waves/Gun too Brock-y, behave.”
- 12. I Just Wanna“I Just Wanna Love U (Give It 2 Me),” <em>The Dynasty</em> (2000)“Might light your wrist, but that about it/Fuck it, I might wife you and buy you nice whips/Ma, but you really gotta ride nice dick.”
- Jay-Z back to business“Jigga That Nigga,” <em>The Blueprint</em> (2001)“The Izod bucket on, I'm so old school/Yellow wrist watch, Gucci flip flops/Six top model chicks, who is this hot?”
- 14. Hovi Baby"Hovi Baby," <em>The Blueprint 2: The Gift and The Curse</em> (2001)“And plus I get paper dog, don't let me forget/The watch face so blue like it's holding it's breath/Can't see me skill for skill or check for check/It's the bow tie flow dog, I bring it to your neck.”
- 15. Show You How“Show You How,” <em>The Blueprint 2: The Gift and The Curse</em> (2001)“Damn you fadin' hov, how you gave 'em that?/Audemars-Piguet, with the alligator strap/Sick of y'all niggaz with ya now or later rapsRap about it now, hope you get it later."
- Jay-Z looks pleased to be dining at the popular Katsuya restaurant“Allure," <em>The Black Album</em> (2003)“Man I'm high off life, fuck it I'm wasted/Bathing Ape kicks, Audemars Piguet wrists/My women friend get tennis bracelets/Trips to Venice, get they winters replaced with/the sun, it ain't even fun no more I'm jaded.”
- Jay-Z The Blueprint 3 Tour in Los Angeles“30 Something,” <em>Kingdom Come</em> (2006)“I don't got the bright watch, I got the right watch/I don't buy out the bar, I bought the nightspot.”
- Jay-Z The Blueprint 3 Tour in Los Angeles“Success,” <em>American Gangster</em> (2007)“I got watches I ain't seen in months/Apartment at the Trump; I only slept in once/Niggas said Hova was ova, such dummies/Even If I fell I'll land on a bunch of money.”
- Audemars Piguet And The Tony Awards' "Time To Give" Auction - After Party“On to the Next One,” <em>The Blueprint 3</em> (2009)“Came in the Range, hopped out that Lexus/Every year since, I been on that next shit/Traded in the gold for the platinum RolexesNow a nigga wrist match the status of my records.”
- 20. Off That“Off That,” <em>The Blueprint 3</em> (2009)“I'm so tomorrow the Audemar says yesterday.”
- 21. Niggas In Paris“Niggas in Paris,” <em>Watch the Throne</em> (2011)“Ball so hard - got a broke clock, Roleys that don't tick-tock/Audemars that's losing time, hidden behind all these big rocks.”
- 22. Otis“Otis,” <em>Watch the Throne</em> (2011)“New watch alert, Hublot's/Or the big face Roley, I got two of those/Arm out the window through the city, I maneuver slow.”
- 23. Gotta Have It“Gotta Have It,” <em>Watch the Throne</em> (2011)“Bueller had a Mueller, but I switched it for a Mille/‘Cause I’m richer, and prior to this shit was moving’ freebase.”
- United Way of New York & the Shawn Carter Scholarship Foundation Press Conference to Announce Jay-Z Carnegie Hall Performances"Who Gon Stop Me,” <em>Watch the Throne</em> (2011)“No brakes, I need, State Farm/So many watches I need eight arms/One neck but got eight charms.”
- 25. Illest Mother“Illest Motherf**ker Alive,” <em>Watch the Throne</em> (2011)“Got the oversized Roley, let me show thee how to do it/When I say it then you see it, it ain't only in the music/Basquiat's, Warhol's, serving as my muses.”
- 2011 MTV Video Music Awards - Show“Mr. Nice Watch,” <em>Cole World - The Sideline Story</em> (2011)“Yeah, got a Hublot I call it Tebow, I strap that bitch with a gator band/Y'all niggaz ball half-time, y'all niggaz like the Gator band.”
Throughout his career, Jay-Z has held many titles, including that of trendsetter.
From helping popularize brands like Evisu to putting an end to the throwback jersey craze to wearing all black everything, Jigga has repeatedly demonstrated his stature as an iconic figure when it comes to fashion and lifestyle. And, his fondness for watches is just one of the many trends he’s spearheaded in hip-hop, name-dropping some of the most famous makers in the lyrics of some his most notable works.
Here, XXLMag.com’s Good Life highlights 25 of Jay’s timepieces references. Tick tock. —Christopher Minaya (@CM_3)