Nearly a quarter-century after its release, the pulse-pounding anthem “What Ya Want” from the Ruff Ryders’ seminal 1999 album, Ryde or Die Vol. 1, continues to emanate sheer vitality and relevance. Fusing the artful production prowess of Swizz Beats with the impassioned, grating vocal delivery of Eve, the track emerges as a mesmerizing melange of sounds that imparts an indelible impression on the listener.

Swizz Beats lays the foundation with his percussive wizardry, supplying a robust, hard-hitting beat that drives the energy of the track. The rhythmic intensity is underpinned by an irresistible groove, which creates the perfect backdrop for the track’s forceful narrative. Even after these years, the beat remains as riveting as it was on its debut, testament to Swizz Beats’ timeless production style.

The beat’s undulating resonance is seamlessly paired with the raw, raspy vocals of Eve, which etch themselves into the very fabric of the track. Her vocal styling – fierce, unapologetic, and intensely personal – is what elevates “What Ya Want” from being just another rap track to an iconic piece of music history.

Eve’s lyrics, a compelling blend of audacious independence and defiant strength, further define the character of the track. In a distinctly powerful narrative, she speaks of shrugging off societal norms, taking on challengers head-on, and fiercely tackling anyone who dares to betray her trust. Her words carry a potent message, one that resonates with listeners even today, and adds an additional layer of depth to the track.

The chorus, a haunting refrain that is as catchy as it is memorable, creates an irresistible hook that lingers long after the track ends. It adds to the memorable quality of “What Ya Want”, ensuring the listener remains engaged and enthralled.

In conclusion, “What Ya Want” from Ruff Ryders’ Ryde or Die Vol. 1 is not merely a great track – it is an influential cornerstone in the landscape of late ’90s hip-hop. Its power lies in its ability to still evoke strong responses from listeners, demonstrating its enduring appeal. Today, it stands as a testament to Ruff Ryders’ skillful blending of beats, lyrics, and performance, and their enduring influence on the genre.

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