" ‘Hard Knock Life’ was done at first without my knowledge, and then it was sent to me to get permission. If the request had come without the song, I don’t think I would have done it. Saying you want to make a 'ghetto anthem’ is unspecific. It had to be demonstrated instead of just talked about. Here was a serious rap artist with a point to make. The fact that [Annie and Jay-z] lived parallel lives that met was exciting."