Dirt off Your Shoulder

"Dirt off Your Shoulder"
Single by Jay-Z
from the album The Black Album
Released March 2, 2004
Format 12" Single
Recorded 2003
Genre East Coast hip hop
Length 3:59
Label Roc-A-Fella Records
Writer(s) Shawn Carter
Timothy Mosley
Producer(s) Timbaland
Jay-Z singles chronology
"Dirt Off Your Shoulder"
"99 Problems"
"Dirt Off Your Shoulder" (2004)
A 24-second sample of "Dirt Off Your Shoulder" by Jay-Z from The Black Album

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"Dirt off Your Shoulder" is the second single released from Jay-Z's 2003 album The Black Album.

In 2004, the song was combined with the Linkin Park single "Lying from You" and released as a single for the mash-up album Collision Course.

The track references the first bars of Scarlatti's Sonata in F minor, although the time signature is changed.

Political influence

On April 17, 2008, Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama referenced the song in gesture, in response to sharp attacks from his rival Hillary Clinton and a debate which was widely criticized for focusing on campaign gaffes rather than on candidates' policy positions.[1][2] Referencing his opponents' "textbook Washington" tactics, focusing on personal attacks and trivial issues, Obama used Jay-Z's hand signal to "brush the dirt" off his shoulders.[3] When asked whether Obama was deliberately referencing the song, a campaign spokesman said, "He has some Jay-Z on his iPod."[4]

Clinton later made the same gesture during her appearance before the House Select Committee on Benghazi.

Track listings


  1. Dirt off Your Shoulder (Radio Edit)
  2. Dirt off Your Shoulder (LP)
  3. Dirt off Your Shoulder (Instrumental)


  1. Encore (Radio Edit)
  2. Encore (LP)
  3. Encore (Instrumental)

99 Problems/Dirt off Your Shoulder, Pt. 1

  1. 99 Problems (Explicit)
  2. Dirt off Your Shoulder (Explicit)

99 Problems/Dirt off Your Shoulder, Pt. 2

  1. 99 Problems (Explicit)
  2. Dirt off Your Shoulder (Explicit)
  3. 99 Problems (Video)
  4. Dirt off Your Shoulder (Video)

99 Problems/Dirt off Your Shoulder, Vinyl


  1. 99 Problems (Explicit)
  2. 99 Problems (Clean)


  1. Dirt off Your Shoulder (Explicit)
  2. Dirt off Your Shoulder (Clean)


In the U.S. the song peaked at number 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 making it Jay-Z's third highest peak on the chart (tied with "Swagga Like Us")

Chart (2004) Peak
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 5
U.S. Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs 3
U.S. Billboard Hot Rap Tracks 2
UK Singles Chart 12
Irish Singles Chart 23
Canadian Singles Chart 6

See also


  1. Kurtz, Howard (2008-04-18). "Performance By ABC's Moderators Is a Matter Of Debate". Washington Post. Retrieved 2008-04-18.
  2. Whitcomb, Dan (2008-04-18). "ABC criticized for handling of Democratic debate". Reuters. Retrieved 2008-04-19.
  3. Melber, Ari (2008-04-17). "Obama Meets Jay-Z in YouTube Mashup Slamming Clinton & Debate". The Nation. Retrieved 2008-04-18.
  4. Wiltz, Teresa (2008-04-19). "Obama Has Jay-Z on His IPod and The Moves To Prove It". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2008-04-19.
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