Jay seemed to feel comfortable at every turn. It dropped months after “Big Pimpin’” became inescapable, and less than a year later, The Blueprint completed Jay’s growth into a universally beloved star. Jay-Z finally broke through as a pop star in 1998, thanks to two songs: the improbable Annie flip “Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem),” and “Can I Get A…” which was tied to Rush Hour, that year’s quarter-billion dollar comedy. In other words, it’s a mid-life crisis made explicit. Elsewhere, though, Jay sounds amazing on the more assuming, smoother cuts that exude the best of the ruling Bad Boy aesthetic–particularly “Imaginary Player” and “Lucky Me.” Both were overseen by members of The Hitmen, that label’s de facto production team. But the album lacks a coherent vision. [CDATA[ is an album of bad ideas and slovenly rapping largely unworthy of the legacy it claims. — JS, A common defense used by Jay-Z when he drops something mediocre is that he has nothing left to prove. — Winston Cook-Wilson. There is still some good stuff here, of course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ife and Times of Shawn Carter 5. So on his 44th birthday, the “Holy Grail” performer posted a photo of his albums in the order in which he views them–from best to worst. also centers on one of the central dynamics of Jay’s work: The tension between the ruthless chessmaster and the traumatized Marcy Projects alum beneath that exterior. Articles. Still, this comes an hour into a double album that noticeably sags under its own weight. In November 2003, he, , an assured and diverse project that found him acknowledging his place at the top of the mountain without resting on his laurels quite yet. In a smart business move, the song wisely featured the other heir apparent to the throne of Greatest Rapper in New York: the definitively unhinged, Jay came into his own as a master curator on. “Show Me What You Got.” However, there’s probably not a single weak song on here, and you can excuse the lack of commitment to the concept because of the verve of Jay’s performances. LIKE WHAT YOU'RE READING? That charm peaked in 2001. is the starting point of the Top 5 conversation—, ’s long reach a surprise are the same ones that made, a cultural centerpiece. After major labels passed on him even though he’d already proven, that he might be the sharpest rhymer in the game, the debut was going to be the Roc-a-Fella clique’s lone, self-aggrandizing testament to that greatness. “Even if you didn’t live that life, the emotions, the angst, and the paranoia and fear—I didn’t know that was a common emotion in human beings in general.”—BJ. You can hear how fresh that wound is when his normally resolute voice slightly quavers—the lines “I could’ve rapped about my hard times on this song / But heaven knows I woulda been wrong” transcend self-righteousness because Scarface has taken the listener through that faith-affirming crucible. On the beautiful closer “Blueprint (Momma Loves Me),” Jay takes time out to reminisce on what might seem mundane on first reading: “Eric fought me, made me tougher / Love you for that my nigga no matter what, bruh.” Here, the brotherly paradox of physicality and vulnerability is explained beautifully in two bars. Jay Z’s Vol. The title track, in which he seems to admit to cheating on Beyoncé, is a lucid look at the consequences of that struggle: “Not meant to cry and die alone in these mansions / Or sleep with our back turned.”, The clear focus adds color to Hov’s once-prolific writing. 1, and the latter was for another movie soundtrack—the lowkey Martin Lawrence diamond heist classic Blue Streak. (He also spit a perfect verse on Mariah Carey’s “Heartbreaker.”) The first instead appeared on the Ruff Ryders compilation album Ryde or Die Vol. Yinka & Shayna Marie Because this is a modern-age Jay-Z album, a number of his commercial successors roll through as features, and they all amount to a montage of dropped baton handoffs, missed mountaintop high-fives, and botched alley-oops. He wasn’t just the superlative—the strands of his biography that he examined on record burrowed themselves within you in a way that made you feel like you mattered. Even one of the album’s most bizarre musical moments would prove to be a disruptor on the charts. 1 feels like an album proffering a pretty distinct musical vision. 12) 'Kingdom Come' DJ Notorious Sam is your #1 Source For Real Hip Hop, News and Music. ., stepping outside of the shadow of other people’s sounds and empires, namely Biggie’s genre-redefining craft and Bad Boy’s patented sleekness. The Black Album (Classic)4. Fortunately, Jay Z decided to give us a present on his Dec. 4 birthday by ranking his own albums, thus ending all disputes. “Venus Vs. Mars” sounds like someone tweeting through a number of bad opposites attract jokes, while the. Your vote is your voice! , then, is a reminder that even legendary hustlers get lazy. Also, its moments of brilliance rank with the best music Jay-Z ever made, and at least its misfires, which seem to reject common notions of musical good taste, are somewhat fascinating in their odd, indeterminate conception. The confidence with which Jay carries himself on “Big Pimpin'”—that of an artist conquering not just his block or his city, but the world—courses through the album. Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window), Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window). ”Poppin’ Tags”—a butter-smooth Kanye West production that elicits eloquent brags from. And Timbaland just could not stop striking out here. “I don’t wear jerseys, I’m 30-plus,” he rapped on the triumphant “What More Can I Say?,” an oddly charming boast that nonetheless gave a glimpse of the stagnant dad-rap into which he would fully delve on his ill-fated comeback, is a technicolor collection of music, and with the sole exception of the limp single “Change Clothes,” the force of Jay-Z’s enormous personality holds it all together. 3, he dropped “Big Pimpin’,” which is, of course, quite easily one of his best and biggest singles ever. While the Mafioso-themed and Kool G Rap heavily influenced debut album Reasonable Doubt will always be his most musically prized possession, the “others” have been … Jay has a few unimpeachable classics, and you’ll find them at—or near–the top of our list. The Black Album has just about everything you could possibly want in a Jay-Z record: a world-conquering hit and a newly minted catchphrase in “Dirt Off Your Shoulder,” some sly political commentary and a boombox-obliterating beat in “99 Problems,” grizzled nostalgia on “My First Song” and “December 4th,” the presence of Kanye West on “Lucifer,” plus spectacular shit-talk and some of the greatest opening bars in history on “P.S.A.” Despite its title, The Black Album is a technicolor collection of music, and with the sole exception of the limp single “Change Clothes,” the force of Jay-Z’s enormous personality holds it all together. !function(t,e,r){var n,s=t.getElementsByTagName(e)[0],i=/^http:/.test(t.location)? In contextualizing Katrina within America’s long, shameful history of disenfranchising its black citizens, Jay defends looting—an act of the defenseless that even most reasonable liberals condemn. In November 2003, he played what was to be his final show at Madison Square Garden, a kind of hip-hop Last Waltz featuring appearances from multiple generations of rap royalty, from Slick Rick to Missy Elliott, and a well-received concert film to boot. The Black Album 4. DJNOTORIOUSSAM.COM only collects links and indexes contents of other sites. [])), +((!+[]+(!![])+!![]+!![]+!![]+!![]+!![]+!![]+[])+(+!![])+(!+[]+(!![])+!![]+!![]+!![]+!![]+!![])+(!+[]+(!![])+!![]+!![]+!![])+(!+[]-(!![]))+(!+[]+(!![])+!![]+!![])+(!+[]+(!![])-[])+(!+[]+(!![])+!![]+!![]+!![])+(!+[]+(!![])+!![]))/+((!+[]+(!![])+!![]+!![]+[])+(!+[]-(!![]))+(!+[]+(!![])+!![]+!![]+!![]+!![]+!![])+(!+[]+(!![])-[])+(!+[]-(!![]))+(!+[]+(!![])+!![]+!![])+(!+[]+(!![])+!![]+!![]+!![]+!![]+!![]+!![])+(!+[]-(!![]))+(!+[]+(!![])+!!

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