And, I’m back (like the opposite of front)!
But yea, if you didn’t know, I gave up listening to Jay-Z for 40 days and 40 nights. Sad to say, I was successful aside from clubs, bars, house parties, and any outings where I did not know the house DJ. But honestly, it was truly painful. Listening to songs over and over by radio play dominators- The Young Money gang- I was forced to listen to aurally desensitizing music; i.e. “Oh Let’s Do It.”
On top of that, I had to hear sex reinvented and neighbors knowing the name of Trey Songz repeatedly as well. (I wouldn’t mind it though, but Trey Songz’s album sales does not relate to the amount of spins he receives on the urban radio stations.
In memory to the greatest rapper of all time –>
(I’m leading the league in at least six statistical categories right now- best flow, most consistent, most charisma, realest stories, I set the most trends, and my interviews are hotter, holla”- Jay-Z) I decided to do a tribute to his legacy and craft out the hottest Jay-Z albums.
(**This list was very difficult to surmise, but as an avid Jay-Z fan, I’d have to say that putting all favorites aside, I have come up with this list. It was difficult because all these albums are creativity at its best. Picking the top Jay-Z albums are like picking your favorite Gospels from the Bible)
10. Kingdom Come
This is Jay-Z’s least favorite album, but it is probably one of my favorites. The album’s lyrical content goes way beyond the common hip-hop fan. With songs such as The Prelude, Show Me What You Got, 44 Fours (deluxe version, and Beach Chair, Sean Corey Carter’s worst album is better than most rapper’s peak albums.
9. The Blueprint 2: The Gift & The Curse
Double-Disc damage! Every great rapper has a double-disc album in their catalog. WIth songs such as “Blueprint 2” when Jay-Z says: “Cause the nigga wear a coofie, it don’t mean that he bright
Cause you don’t understand him, it don’t mean that he nice
It just means you don’t understand all the bullshit that he write
Is it “Oochie Wally Wally” or is it “One Mic”?
Is it “Black Girl Lost” or shorty owe you for ice?
I’ve been real all my life, they confuse it with deceit
Since I will not lose, they try to help him cheat
But I will not lose, for even in defeat
There’s a valuable lesson learned, so it evens it up for me” we’ll let this album do the talking. Even did a song with Sinatra!
5. American Gangster
This brought back the gangster past of Jay-Z. This album has a movie feel and is structured the way an album is supposed to be- IT TELLS A STORY. The beginning of a hustler’s life followed by the grind, then the luxury, then the fall, then the after-hustle story.
Because iTunes did not sell the album in singles, I think Jay-Z did a great job in saying, We shouldn’t pay for singles, we should be paying for entire albums and seeing what that artist has to say away from the mainstream pop culture radio songs.
4. Vol. 2: Hardknock Life
Featured DMX in his prime and Jermaine Dupri.
Also, the single Hardknock Life with a sample from the movie Annie brought back East Coast rap. Jay single handedly took the rap game away from the West and brought it back home to New York where he would then put in work to become the greatest and resurrect the name of the late Biggie Smalls.
My reasoning for my top three:
Black Album was Jay-Z’s first retirement album. It was perfect. Kanye and Just Blaze produced albums will never fail to delight the ear drums as Jay-Z gracefully displays power and poise over the tracks.
Although Reasonable Doubt was one of the greatest works of hip-hop, EVER- I have to put this second in Jay-Z’s catalog because Reasonable Doubt was ahead of its time. It is a timeless album, don’t get me wrong, but i wasn’t accepted then and still til this day isn’t accepted for the purity the audio exhibits. RD was a gem. “Should’ve got 5, but niggas lacked foresight” says Jay-Z on the song 44 Fours.
Blueprint is the pinnacle of rap. It is our time and our generation’s capstone for hip-hop as an artform. You can play both of the albums straight through with no skipping necessary, but Blueprint, debuting on 9/11, the date wasn’t enough to collapse Jay-Z’s prolific flow.