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Binlahab
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182328 posts
Tue Jul-04-17 04:39 PM

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"top 5 hov albums"


  

          

5) Unplugged (IDCIDCIDC)
4) watch the throne
3) 444
2) reasonable doubt
1) in my lifetime


on sabbatical.

does it really matter?

wonder what bin's doing?
http://i.imgur.com/phECCMp.jpg

  

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Topic Outline
Subject Author Message Date ID
RE: top 5 hov albums
Jul 04th 2017
1
I need to go back to The Black Album
Jul 05th 2017
3
Here's Mine
Jul 05th 2017
2
4:44 really benefits from it's length.
Jul 05th 2017
4
Damn if this ain't true
Jul 05th 2017
11
Sure.
Jul 05th 2017
5
In this order
Jul 05th 2017
6
Mines
Jul 05th 2017
7
RE: top 5 hov albums
Jul 05th 2017
8
Love 4:44 but feel a certain way including it this quick
Jul 05th 2017
9
Flip BP and RD and you've got my list.
Jul 05th 2017
10
RD
Jul 05th 2017
12
1. Blueprint
Jul 06th 2017
13
I'll die as the only person with The Dynasty in their top 5 Hov albums
Jul 06th 2017
14
Dynasty is #6 for me and its close....
Jul 06th 2017
19
Ha! I enjoy Dynasty quite a bit especially bc of it's timing.
Jul 06th 2017
24
one of his worst. easily
Jul 10th 2017
44
Spin ranks Jay-Z's albums - swipe
Jul 06th 2017
15
Nah
Jul 06th 2017
16
WHY. THE. FUCK. does everyone rank Vol. 2 so fucking high
Jul 06th 2017
17
nostalgia....
Jul 06th 2017
18
That album is the reason I never copped Vol 3 or Dynasty
Jul 06th 2017
20
Because it's the album with "Hard Knock Life" and his biggest seller
Jul 06th 2017
21
Vanilla Ice?
Jul 06th 2017
22
      Different time for hip-hop
Jul 06th 2017
23
That was the album that put Jay on the mainstream's radar
Jul 07th 2017
28
Agreed, both of those are right there w/ Magna Carta and Kingdom Come
Jul 07th 2017
29
cause that album is Hov's most fun and he still spittin on it.
Jul 08th 2017
34
Tell me more about this real world you speak of.
Jul 09th 2017
36
IT HAS 5 FUCN HITS. HITS that are good to great, still
Jul 10th 2017
42
      Fair enough with this point.
Jul 10th 2017
47
They got 11, 12 and 13 right
Jul 07th 2017
27
Volume 3 is 6 on my list...i never understood the hate of that album...
Jul 09th 2017
37
I didn't care for the production on most of vol. 3
Jul 10th 2017
45
VOL. III is fo real some progressive ass rap production
Jul 10th 2017
52
MCHG better than half of Jay's discog
Jul 10th 2017
43
      RE: MCHG better than half of Jay's discog
Jul 10th 2017
46
other than vol 3 being so high this is a great list.
Jul 11th 2017
57
RD is No 1
Jul 06th 2017
25
The Blueprint
Jul 07th 2017
26
RE: The Blueprint
Jul 08th 2017
30
RE: The Blueprint = most overrated hip-hop album ever
Jul 08th 2017
31
Why do you feel this way?
Jul 08th 2017
32
      I've spoke about this before but
Jul 08th 2017
35
           jesus crist get over yourself
Jul 10th 2017
53
                LOL
Jul 11th 2017
55
I urge you to revisit I Know What Girls Like
Jul 09th 2017
39
      Jay rapped his ass off but nah, you can keep that beat and hook
Jul 09th 2017
40
      I did. That shit still basura
Jul 10th 2017
50
Blueprint, RD, Black Album, Vol 2, WTT. not fussed about the order
Jul 08th 2017
33
you're a bozo.
Jul 09th 2017
38
really surprised at how many Vol. I choices
Jul 10th 2017
41
Take off 3 tracks and Vol 1 is his best album
Jul 10th 2017
49
      Hot Take, stop this...
Jul 10th 2017
51
      LOL
Jul 11th 2017
56
      I almost never agree with you
Jul 21st 2017
81
           RE: I almost never agree with you
Jul 21st 2017
83
RD, TBA, BP1, 4:44, AG.
Jul 10th 2017
48
re-listening to AG soon
Jul 10th 2017
54
RE: top 5 hov albums
Jul 13th 2017
58
RD/4:44/AG, TBA, BP 2.1
Jul 13th 2017
59
2.1??? wow
Jul 13th 2017
60
Blueprint 2 shoulda been a classic.
Jul 21st 2017
82
RE: top 5 hov albums
Jul 13th 2017
61
moral of this post: I need to revisit american gangster
Jul 13th 2017
62
you really wont be disappointed. Roc Boys was just a celebration cut
Jul 17th 2017
63
      Roc Boys is dope as fuck
Jul 17th 2017
64
           ^^^ this is correct.
Jul 17th 2017
65
                Yeah I think HS assumed that since it was the single and...
Jul 17th 2017
66
                     Agree in full.
Jul 18th 2017
67
                     I thought JD did Fallin'?
Jul 18th 2017
68
                          He did. No ID got co production credit
Jul 18th 2017
69
                               Nice...No ID needs to be on more people's lists
Jul 18th 2017
70
                               Shit - you guys are right. My bad.
Jul 18th 2017
72
                                    JD can get down when he wants to
Jul 18th 2017
73
                                         Yea all jokes aside I know from his history that he has ...
Jul 18th 2017
74
                     i wasn't even really thinking abt roc boys tbh
Jul 18th 2017
76
                     I agree with everything yall are saying lol.
Jul 19th 2017
77
The White Albulum
Jul 18th 2017
71
i really liked the brown album too, i think those were my 2 fav
Jul 18th 2017
75
I just listened to both of them yesterday
Jul 19th 2017
79
White Album still has THE best version of Allure.
Jul 19th 2017
78
why in my lifetime?
Jul 20th 2017
80

Nick Has a Problem...Seriously
Member since Dec 25th 2010
15874 posts
Tue Jul-04-17 04:42 PM

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1. "RE: top 5 hov albums"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

Reasonable Doubt (1996)
In My Lifetime, Vol. 1 (1997)
The Blueprint (2001)
The Black Album (2003)
American Gangster (2007)

I'm sure 4:44 will be in there in a few

****************************************
Falcons, Braves, Bulldogs and Hawks

"As soon as I saw "Goblin" ahead of "AmeriKKA's Most..." I closed the window. Nothing to see here." - mrhood75

https://www.discogs.com/user/nawynn79

  

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Anonymous
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20844 posts
Wed Jul-05-17 08:50 AM

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3. "I need to go back to The Black Album"
In response to Reply # 1


  

          

I remember liking it but then thinking it was a little cheap.

December 4th was *shrugs*
I like What More and Encore but the singing was not good at all lol
Change Clothes was weak
Dirt was dope but over played so I ultimately got tired of it
Threats...not a 9th fan
Moment of Clarity...not an Em on production fan at all
99 Problems...see Dirt
PSA...dopest track on here
Justify...nah
Lucifer...dope
Allure...cool but never liked it like everyone else with that fake Casio thunder sound
My 1st Song...dope

So I like it but don't LOVE it and always though it was overrated

  

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ChampD1012
Member since Sep 27th 2003
8124 posts
Wed Jul-05-17 06:35 AM

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2. "Here's Mine"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

1. Blueprint 1
2. Reasonable Doubt
3. Black Album
4. American Gangster
5. 4:44

  

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soulfunk
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8442 posts
Wed Jul-05-17 09:49 AM

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4. "4:44 really benefits from it's length."
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

1 - Blueprint
2 - Reasonable Doubt
3 - American Gangster
4 - 4:44
5 - The Black Album

Typically I wouldn't even consider a new album in a list like this so soon. But 4:44 is really built to age well - only 10 tracks, focused lyrical content, consistent production, no attempts at a club/radio banger, no random filler tracks.

The Black Album specifically could have been CLASSIC with the same focus. Change Clothes, Threat, and Justify My Thug could have all been cut, leaving it with 11 tracks (10 songs not counting the intro) of HEAT.

Honestly, 4:44 has a chance of moving up in my list after some time. American Gangster could have cut Hello Brooklyn. I go back and forth on Ain't No Nigga on RD. Blueprint was flawless.

  

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Tiger Woods
Member since Feb 15th 2004
15668 posts
Wed Jul-05-17 09:47 PM

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11. "Damn if this ain't true "
In response to Reply # 4


  

          


>
>The Black Album specifically could have been CLASSIC with the
>same focus. Change Clothes, Threat, and Justify My Thug could
>have all been cut, leaving it with 11 tracks (10 songs not
>counting the intro) of HEAT.
>
.

  

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mrhood75
Member since Dec 06th 2004
39790 posts
Wed Jul-05-17 11:00 AM

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5. "Sure."
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

1. The Blueprint
2. Vol. 1
3. Reasonable Doubt
4. American Gangster
5. Vol. 3

-----------------

It's the Hed Rush: http://hedrush.podomatic.com/
"We take rap serious, it's not a hobby to us."

I'm coming back on a fucking horse! (c) Benzino

  

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TR808
Member since Oct 24th 2012
1667 posts
Wed Jul-05-17 11:57 AM

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6. "In this order"
In response to Reply # 0
Wed Jul-05-17 12:01 PM by TR808

  

          

1) American Gangster

2)Reasonable Doubt

3) 4:44

4) Black Album

5) In my lifetime

I'm a hard rock... chewing on a pebble..

  

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chincheckin
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2338 posts
Wed Jul-05-17 12:41 PM

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7. "Mines"
In response to Reply # 0


          

5. Black Album
4. 4:44
3. Hard Knock Life
2. Blueprint
1. Reasonable Doubt

http://soundcloud.com/deemack1

  

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1-UP
Member since Dec 04th 2005
950 posts
Wed Jul-05-17 01:05 PM

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8. "RE: top 5 hov albums"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

1) Black Album
2) Blueprint
3) Watch the throne
4) RD
5) American Gangster
6) 4:44

AG and 4:44 could swap in time.

  

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Ishwip
Member since Jun 10th 2005
19652 posts
Wed Jul-05-17 03:49 PM

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9. "Love 4:44 but feel a certain way including it this quick"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

Currently I'm at:

Reasonable Doubt
Blueprint
Black Album
American Gangster
In My Lifetime Vol. 1


Leading up to the release of 4:44 I revisited his solo albums to see if my list had changed anything and it didn't, although I didn't FEEL "The Black Album" as much I as I have in the past. Even the "money" songs I've always been back over the years I was a little ehhh on and I didn't feel that way about any of the rest of my top 5 list.

I won't change anything at this time, but I could see Black Album dropping to 6th with AG and Lifetime Vol. 1 moving up one slot each and 4:44 taking the 5th spot.


__
I don't like the beat anymore because its just a loop. ALC didn't FLIP IT ENOUGH!

Flip it enough? Flip these. Flip off. Go flip some f*cking burgers.(c)Kno

Allied State of the National Electric Beat Treaty Organization (NEBTO)

  

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Brew
Member since Nov 23rd 2002
13631 posts
Wed Jul-05-17 09:42 PM

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10. "Flip BP and RD and you've got my list."
In response to Reply # 9


          

>Reasonable Doubt
>Blueprint
>Black Album
>American Gangster
>In My Lifetime Vol. 1

Also, I agree re: The Black Album in that even hearing Encore pop up on playlists now (which was one of my all time favorite songs as recently as 5 years ago) I usually skip it. I honestly think I just beat all my personal "money" songs to death over the years since its release in 03 so I honestly kind of tired of it. I'm sure it'll eventually get back in my good graces tho.


>Leading up to the release of 4:44 I revisited his solo albums
>to see if my list had changed anything and it didn't, although
>I didn't FEEL "The Black Album" as much I as I have in the
>past. Even the "money" songs I've always been back over the
>years I was a little ehhh on and I didn't feel that way about
>any of the rest of my top 5 list.

---------------------------

Devoted to the art of moving butts.

  

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High Society
Member since Oct 13th 2003
6790 posts
Wed Jul-05-17 11:49 PM

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12. "RD"
In response to Reply # 0


          

Vol. 1
Blueprint
AG
4:44

but I can see 4:44 moving past AG.
Just too early.

--------------
soundshape.tumblr.com

  

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rorschach
Member since Nov 10th 2004
7184 posts
Thu Jul-06-17 06:48 AM

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13. "1. Blueprint"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

2. Reasonable Doubt
3. The Black Album
4. 4:44
5. American Gangster


As someone already said, 4:44 really benefits from its brevity. There really isn't any filler there. Right now I have it over American Gangster but that can change (because AG is that good). But I couldn't put 4:44 over TBA. Even though I skip one or two songs on there (Justify My Love almost always), the strongest songs are really strong. I've noticed that I haven't cherry-picked songs from 4:44 so far. I play the whole album every time I start it.

Blueprint and RD are where they are for obvious reasons.

  

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Oak27
Member since Apr 17th 2005
11530 posts
Thu Jul-06-17 08:37 AM

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14. "I'll die as the only person with The Dynasty in their top 5 Hov albums"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

idc idc idc idc idc

1. The Blueprint
2. The Black Album
3. Reasonable Doubt
4. The Dynasty
5. American Gangster

*****

"I mean, if at any point in your life you have to publically say that you don't like your a$$ played with, you have to look back and realize you made at least a couple wrong turns..." -Stadiq

  

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rorschach
Member since Nov 10th 2004
7184 posts
Thu Jul-06-17 04:00 PM

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19. "Dynasty is #6 for me and its close...."
In response to Reply # 14


  

          

I like that album almost as much AG and 4:44. I'm rating 4:44 highly because the content is way much more personal than Jay's other albums and the fact that there's no filler whatsoever is a plus.

---------------------------------------


---------------------------------------

  

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High Society
Member since Oct 13th 2003
6790 posts
Thu Jul-06-17 06:45 PM

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24. "Ha! I enjoy Dynasty quite a bit especially bc of it's timing."
In response to Reply # 14


          

Coming off Vol. 3's Timbo, let's go region to region and grab some beats album...

Hov comes back to NY.
It didn't do what he wanted it to because it was supposed to be a Roc album.
Not a solo record.

But we get the classic Dynasty Intro.

We get the classic I Just Wanna Love You w/ Pharrell.
(Maybe the beginning of a beautiful friendship, maybe it was City is Mine)

Streets is Talking w/ Beans is hard.
The classic - This Can't be Life.
Stick 2 the Script, hey - I don't skip it.

You, Me, Him and Her has become an instrumental staple,
if you haven't rocked it over it - you're a strange NY rapper lol.

1-900-Hustler - the introduction of Freeway, great song.

and then 2 more classic joints at the end...
Soon You'll Understand - speaking of Jay getting vulnerable on 4:44,
this joint and Where Have You Been - give us Jay, while still guard up...
trying to be go there, trying be vulnerable, but he still had that coolness
factor, he had to portray.

Where Have You Been 2 - the sequel on Beanie's LP... we actually get
Jay MORE OPEN than on many songs up to that point in his career.

and Where Have You Been has been giving a 2nd life w/ the Ross joint.
I've had to school so many young cats about WHY Ross chose that sample
for that specific song, where he's speaking about that specific topic.

Daddy, where have you been? The beat double entendre was a slick move.
Well done Ross.

I enjoy Dynasty, I enjoy that era of The Roc sound.
I love the Bass Line studios sound and the albums that came out of there.

--------------
soundshape.tumblr.com

  

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astralblak
Member since Apr 05th 2007
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Mon Jul-10-17 01:49 AM

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44. "one of his worst. easily"
In response to Reply # 14


  

          

.

  

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c71
Member since Jan 15th 2008
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Thu Jul-06-17 02:11 PM

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15. "Spin ranks Jay-Z's albums - swipe"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

http://www.spin.com/2017/07/jay-z-albums-ranked/

LISTS


Jay-Z’s Solo Albums, Ranked

SPIN Staff // July 6, 2017


Nowadays, you’re most likely to come across (young) rap nerds endlessly ranking and re-ranking albums by Kanye West or Drake. But a more interesting discussion centers around the ordering of the sprawling discography of one of the men who paved the way for them: Jay-Z. The rapper who began his career as a witty corner hustler is now just about the greatest capitalist success in the genre’s history. The 13 albums he’s released during that period reflect this growth in real-time, leaving behind a group of indelible but often flawed records that are equally exciting and bewildering to pick through. Jay has a few unimpeachable classics, and you’ll find them at—or near–the top of our list. Most interesting, though, are the ones that, depending on your perspective, also get there, very nearly do, or perhaps even miss altogether. This is our ranking of Jay’s 13 solo studio albums, in which we take stock of one of the absolute best to ever do it.


13. Kingdom Come (2006)

Jay-Z’s comeback from his essentially nonexistent retirement was heralded with a video in which professional race car drivers Danica Patrick and Dale Earnhardt Jr. careen through Monaco—footage which would quickly be repurposed into an advertisement for Budweiser. The song it accompanied—Jay’s “comeback” single “Show Me What You Got”—is a not-unlikable Just Blaze reconfiguration of an obviously much better Public Enemy song, but Lil Wayne freestyled over the beat at the height of his powers, crossing Jay up like Iverson did MJ. It might be quicker just to talk about the parts of Kingdom Come that were actually good.

There is most obviously “Minority Report,” which addresses Hurricane Katrina. It’s not the best track to listen to on a purely aesthetic basis, with Jay rapping in a stilted flow over a plodding piano beat. But the song stands out for both its incisiveness and its honesty. 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. He also examines his own response to the event, rapping, “Sure, I ponied up a mil’ but I didn’t give my time / So in reality, I didn’t give a dime / Or a damn, I just put money in the hands / Of the same people that left my people stranded.” It remains one of his most interesting bits of rapping ever, and you can draw a direct line from it to his recent interest in producing media explicitly about race and the criminal justice system—from his short film for the New York Times to documentaries about Kalief Browder and Trayvon Martin.

The rest of Kingdom Come, regrettably, is rap music fit for a cocktail party aboard a yacht bobbing peacefully in the Adriatic Sea. The back-to-back songs featuring Pharrell and Usher and then Beyoncé are pure Baz Luhrmann rap, and even Dr. Dre’s solo production here—“30 Something”—feels like it’s going out of its way not to disturb you. The album’s gold-plated tackiness is only redeemed on “Do U Wanna Ride,” a song dedicated to Jay’s then-incarcerated childhood friend Emory Jones, in which finds Jay traces his life story from the projects to St. Tropez, grounding the album’s richness somewhere that is more relatable.

Kingdom Comes ends with the quasi-infamous “Beach Chair,” produced by and featuring Chris Martin, who croons a chorus that goes, “I hear my angels sing / Life is a dream and you really don’t wanna wake up, wake up.” It seems prescient that the album acknowledges that you may already be long asleep. — Jordan Sargent


12. Magna Carta Holy Grail (2013)


Magna Carta Holy Grail runs for a full minute and a half before we hear Jay Z’s voice: it’s all portentous piano, distorted little snippets of speech, and a crooning Justin Timberlake. When Jigga finally enters, it’s with quick choppy bars about men who’ve been swallowed up by fame, and then he’s gone again, replaced by JT singing an interpolation of the hook to “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” It’s a fitting introduction to an album from a guy who seemed a little unsure himself about what to do with his status as one of the biggest stars in the world.

Fortunately for everyone, Jay’s path isn’t nearly as dark as that of Mike Tyson or Kurt Cobain, both who come up in that opening verse: rather than resorting to violence against himself or others, he’s simply throwing his resources at whatever musical whim comes to him and then seeing what sticks. That approach yields a few solid songs: “BBC” is a summery and organic slice of funk a la “Hola Hovito,” with the added bonus of a Nas guest appearance; “Fuckwithmeyouknowigotit” is a sticky street single, thanks in large part to Rick Ross. But the album lacks a coherent vision. For better or worse, its most memorable moments come when Jay dips his toes into the zeitgeist and comes away baffled and bemused: “I don’t pop molly, I rock Tom Ford” is an all-time groaner, but “Somewhere in America, Miley Cyrus is still twerking” is a great line in spite of itself. — Andy Cush


11. The Blueprint 3 (2009)


On the night of his induction into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, Jay-Z went on a tweet spree thanking the rappers who inspired him over his career. But he didn’t merely just pay deference to the standard hip-hop pantheon–Playboi Carti, Quavo, Young Thug, Future, and Travis Scott were thrown in the same list as Rakim, Ghostface Killah, and Big L. Listen to “D.O.A. (Death of Autotune),” the lead single from Blueprint 3, and you’ll realize Jay-Z has changed a bit. With that song, he aimed to issue a corrective in the form of a mission statement. “This ain’t for sing-a-longs” and his “raps don’t have melodies,” he told us, plus he wasn’t here for tight jeans. Jay-Z explained that “D.O.A.” was a challenge against the era’s conventions rather than an outright diss, but those targets were by-and-large the makeup of current rap. That song dates the album because “D.O.A.” represents BP3’s central conflict: Where does Jay-Z fit in a strange new land governed by Drake?

The Blueprint 3 is an essential chapter by default because “Empire State of Mind” became Jay’s first No. 1 single, and “On to the Next One” was both a sleek example of Swizz Beatz’s genius and a needed reminder that latter-day Jay-Z can put out a hit single that was actually enjoyable. But the album’s claim to canon more or less ends there. 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. “Off That” finds Jay trying to catapult a then-upcoming Drake with political platitudes and duds like,“I’m so tomorrow the Audemar says yesterday / Which means you on time delay.” Eight years later, it’s a footnote in both of their careers.

Elsewhere, BP3, like its predecessor in the series, is a pop-rap album for an artist who didn’t need one: Jay-Z’s so sureshot of a star that pop naturally bended in his direction (he once rapped “I ain’t crossover I brought the suburbs to the hood”). Because he’s well within the zeitgeist, it’s hard to get a sense of what exactly he’s grasping for in this set of uncharacteristically misguided half-steps. “Venus Vs. Mars” sounds like someone tweeting through a number of bad opposites attract jokes, while the J. Cole-starring “A Star Is Born” is a hip-hop circle of life anthem that feels extremely rote, especially when compared to a later effort like A Tribe Called Quest’s ”Dis Generation.” The album’s producers are middling as well: Kanye West is still stadium level on “Run This Town,” but “Hate” is an extreme drop off from 2001. And Timbaland just could not stop striking out here.

The whole affair does ultimately amount to a first for Jay-Z. He’s had misses before, but The Blueprint 3 was the moment it felt that the culture finally divorced itself from Hov, mainly because Jay sounds so distracted by things like skinny jeans that he loses the effortless cool that was his essence. It’s fitting that this is the first solo album where he’s not on the cover. — Brian Josephs


10. The Blueprint 2: The Gift & The Curse (2002)


The extent to which The Blueprint 2: The Gift & The Curse mirrors the consistent bloat of Hollywood sequels feels almost meta in retrospect, though we can safely assume that at the time Jay-Z was simply enamored of the power of his own excess. Or maybe it was everyone around him—in his personal album ranking, Jay’s note about the follow-up to one of his consensus classics seems to place the blame on his A&Rs: “Too many songs. Fucking Guru and Hip Hop, ha.” No matter who was at fault, The Blueprint 2 is an album of bad ideas and slovenly rapping largely unworthy of the legacy it claims.

There is still some good stuff here, of course. ”Poppin’ Tags”—a butter-smooth Kanye West production that elicits eloquent brags from Twista, Killer Mike, Big Boi, and Jay himself—would be an easy inclusion in any mix of classic Jay album cuts. M.O.P.’s remix of The Blueprint’s “U Don’t Know” speaks for itself. There is also a point in the middle of disc two where the album finally locks into a groove, stacking up chopped-up soul beats from Just Blaze and Kanye, which feels like Jay acknowledging that he had ascended to a place in his career where he could easily serve up comfort food. Still, this comes an hour into a double album that noticeably sags under its own weight.

Five months after the release of The Blueprint 2, Def Jam would put out a compilation album titled The Blueprint 2.1 that consolidated the record onto one disc. You can squint hard and see a listenable album there, with Jay dropping songs like the ill-fated Sean Paul collaboration “What They Gonna Do,” the Frank Sinatra-interpolation “I Did It My Way,” and “Fuck All Nite,” one of those lounge-funk Neptunes productions that now sounds really watery (plus, Pharrell croons “U Don’t Have to Call” for whatever reason). Still, the garish Lenny Kravtiz screamer “Guns & Roses” made the cut, as did the Biggie tribute “A Dream,” which reproduces the entire first verse of “Juicy.” Despite the sheer number of songs, there wasn’t a lot to work with here.

Looking back, what’s most notable about The Blueprint 2 is how Jay more or less immediately repeated the formula on the The Black Album but instead made one of the most lauded albums of his career. That album shares some of this one’s worst impulses—chintzy Pharrell champagne flute clinkers, Timbaland beats that kinda sound like broken amusement park rides, ill-fitting pop interpolations—but was ultimately made with a purpose that imbued its rapping with a certain vitality. That vitality, of course, came from Jay’s impending retirement, which he quickly reneged on, revealing that it was just a hustle all along. The Blueprint 2, then, is a reminder that even legendary hustlers get lazy. — JS


9. 4:44 (2017)


A common defense used by Jay-Z when he drops something mediocre is that he has nothing left to prove. But maybe Jay needed to realize that, too, and maybe that’s why 4:44 ultimately works better than nearly all of his post-retirement albums. While it’s a falsehood to proclaim 4:44 the first of it’s kind—once-rival Nas dropped his own grown-man record five years ago, with a bunch of beats from No I.D.—the compelling central drama here is how Jay’s titanic legacy is at odds with itself. In other words, it’s a mid-life crisis made explicit. “Kill Jay Z” examines if Jay is still an American story worth telling even if it’s against his best interest as a human being. 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. The charm of “Smile” is two-sided: His fluid run through Hot 97 subliminals, sociopolitical references, and personal revelations is dazzling to watch, and his mother Gloria Carter coming out as gay may be a hallmark moment in hip-hop. The Blueprint 3 and Magna Carta Holy Grail didn’t work because they centered on ill-formed missives told from an awkward place. 4:44 does have outward sniping (on “Moonlight”: “We got the same fuckin’ flows / I don’t know who is who”), but it’s the story of Shawn Carter that gets the deserved shine. — BJ


8. American Gangster (2007)


In which Jay-Z vicariously gets his groove back. The oft-told narrative is that American Gangster was birthed after Jay-Z caught an advance screening of Ridley Scott’s film of the same name, which reminded him of his own formative years in the drug game. In other words, it took Idris Elba getting popped for Hov to make his own Superfly.

The three-act concept album takes a look at the internal and external pressures of hustling: The motive (on “American Dreamin’”: “Mama forgive me, should be thinking about Harvard / But that’s too far away, niggas are starving”); the rise (“Party Life”: “I make it look good to be this hood”); and the fall (“Fallin’”). But the classic structure is more of a prompt than a rigid framework: At one point, he breaks the narrative to egg on Beanie Sigel and scoff at Don Imus on Just Blaze’s glittering “Ignorant Shit.”

One of the main knocks against American Gangster is how it lacks a haymaker hit—even Kingdom Come kinda had “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. His flow and language feel consistently precise and purposeful: When he briefly pauses while delivering the line “I gotta get you out of here mama or I’mma die…inside / So either way you lose me, mama, so let loose of me” on “No Hook,” there’s an entire act’s worth of character development portrayed—from genuine exasperation to sordid resolve. American Gangster is also buttressed by sepia soulfulness produced by LV & Sean C and No I.D. Yes, Jay-Z is incredibly versatile—that’s why he’s the rare ’90s rapper who isn’t simply a legacy act—but American Gangster again proved that aesthetic has always been his greatest stimulus. — BJ


7. The Dynasty: Roc La Familia (2000)


The Dynasty is arguably the most underrated album of Jay-Z’s catalog partially because of what’s in its immediate purview. 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. And although The Dynasty is officially a solo effort, it prominently featured the Roc-A-Fella street soldiers Beanie Sigel and Memphis Bleek. The project now feels very of a time because la familia has since splintered: Beanie is still known as a haunted street philosopher (see his recent turn on Pusha T’s “Keep Dealing”), but he never really achieved star status. Memphis Bleek’s arc went from “one hit away” to “he’s never had that hit, but real ones know.”

In any event, The Dynasty is crucial because it’s where the skeleton of The Blueprint starts to develop. Before Just Blaze’s brassy productions became the default soundtrack to B-Boy Valhalla, he got one of his first major looks by landing five beats on here (the cocksure “Streets Is Talking” is his first collaboration with Hov). Before producing a third of The Blueprint, Kanye West got credited on just one song—and that one happens to be one of Jay-Z’s greatest, though we’ll get to that in a bit.

The Dynasty 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. Whereas other albums illustrated this with more nuance, The Dynasty sets itself apart by how it takes those opposites to their polar extremes, with the album featuring some of Jay’s coldest ever bars. For those who came up in the boroughs, the bleak “Intro” still transforms into Spartan armor nearly two decades later. Jay spends “Streets Is Talking” describing how he’ll break you apart with violent precision: “I’m comfortable dog—Brooklyn to Rome / On any Martin Luther, don’t part with your future.”

And yet, for all of gun brandishing and macking, The Dynasty closes with the sober “Where Have You Been,” where the pain of absent fathers eventually breaks down the normally immovable Beanie Sigel. Earlier, Jay’s respect for Houston pays off once more on the Kanye-produced “This Can’t Be Life.” As the known story goes, Scarface spit his verse right after finding out his friend’s kid died. 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. Those moments are the ones that contextualize The Dynasty’s pugilism: These are men who fight because they bleed. — BJ


6. In My Lifetime, Vol. 1 (1997)


Jay-Z’s sophomore album found the Marcy prodigy at the peak of his hunger for success and recognition. The rapper was attempting to move beyond the dustier, virtuosic gangsta-rap of Reasonable Doubt in favor of making a bid for the national and international spotlight. This was in the loose tradition of the man whose shoes he was attempting to fill, The Notorious B.I.G., his late friend who he was still mourning.

There was a wide margin of error for Jay’s experiments, and thus there is some hot garbage on Vol. 1. Most enduringly is the single “I Know What Girls Like,” which boasted a clunky, death-rattle of a beat, Diddy’s cloying quote of a hook, and bars that can’t hold a candle to Reasonable Doubt–”I said I never seen a face like yours before / And I been around some cute whores before,” for instance.

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. Other songs are extensions of the musical and lyrical themes of Reasonable Doubt, including one of the lyrical masterclasses of his career, “Where I’m From,” which is packed with indelible lines full of sharp imagery: “I’m a block away from hell, not enough shots away from stray shells / An ounce away from a triple beam, still using a hand-held weight scale.”

The album’s strongest single is “Streets is Watching,” and it was the only song from the album Biggie would be able to listen to. Big would pass away 8 months before the world heard it, and the rest of Vol. 1 would ultimately be realigned around his passing, featuring passages addressed to Jay’s friend and even quotes from his songs.

On the tracks where Jay strikes the balance between narrative brilliance and suitable and stylish production, Vol. 1 feels like an album proffering a pretty distinct musical vision. It includes some of the best music Jay-Z ever made, and definitely some of his best rapping, even if these hot streaks are interrupted by some poorly-vetted Hail Mary attempts at relevance. In a 2009 interview with AOL Music, Jay himself called these tracks attempts to “get on the radio,” and identified the album as the only one in his catalogue—at the time at least—that he is dissatisfied with (“the one that got away”). In 2013, however, he’d bump it up to #7 in his own power-ranking, claiming that the atonal R&B smush of “Sunshine” was the only sore spot: “(It) kills this one…fuck….”

In hindsight, In My Lifetime was really only as confused as mainstream hip-hop itself, which was in the midst of a decentralized, transitional year. 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. — Winston Cook-Wilson



5. The Black Album (2003)


Jay-Z almost retired at the top of his game. 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. A week and a half before, he’d released The Black Album, an assured and diverse project that found him acknowledging his place at the top of the mountain without resting on his laurels quite yet. “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 Kingdom Come. But a few songs later, on the pensive Eminem-produced “Moment of Clarity,” he admitted that he still wasn’t satisfied with what he’d accomplished, shouting out his comparatively lesser-known peers Common and Talib Kweli as the artists who inspired him to work harder.

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. It was the high note he should have gone out on. — AC


4. Vol. 3… Life and Times of S. Carter (1999)


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. Jay had previously struggled with translating himself for a pop audience on a purely aesthetic level—a baldfaced crossover attempt in the form of 1997’s “Sunshine” was both ill-fitting on an artistic level while also not even accomplishing the intended goal of getting him onto the charts—but in ’98 he stumbled into the pop success he had so doggedly sought.

Still, his subsequent album Vol. 3… Life and Times of S. Carter proved he hadn’t quite figured the pop game out. Jay’s 1999 was marked by two more big hits: “Jigga My Nigga” and “Girl’s Best Friend,” but both only showed up on his solo album as hidden tracks. (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. 1, and the latter was for another movie soundtrack—the lowkey Martin Lawrence diamond heist classic Blue Streak. Jay’s own Vol. 3 instead led with two forgettable singles: the Timbaland-produced “It’s Hot (Some Like It Hot),” whose ice-cold verses didn’t take to pop radio, and “Things That U Do,” a whistling Mariah collaboration that has actually aged well but was ignored by pop audiences.

Once again, though, Jay would find a career-altering smash. Four months after the release of Vol. 3, he dropped “Big Pimpin’,” which is, of course, quite easily one of his best and biggest singles ever. Still, it’s a song that almost didn’t happen—Jay had to hard sell Bun B and Pimp C on doing the song because they were worried that the crossover record would be seen by their fanbase as a betrayal. (Pimp also refused to travel to Trinidad for the video shoot.) That concern is funny in retrospect, for all parties involved, because in many ways “Big Pimpin'” was the song Jay had been searching for his entire career—an undeniably catchy and unifying song that nonetheless did not betray his roots.

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. The beats here are menacing and chromatic—Jay recognized that the shiny suit era had come to a close, and so instead he gravitated towards productions that mirrored the uncompromising sneer of his lyrics. As a result, Vol. 3 houses several of Jay’s most memorable non-singles: “So Ghetto,” a stuttering and delirious lyrical showcase (“Brandish iron, outlandish buyin'”); “Snoopy Track,” a thick and smeared homage to Southern rap featuring a chorus in which Juvenile sounds like an oracle; and “Come and Get Me,” a pristine Timbaland production in which Jay irritatedly addresses that exact crossover dilemma (“Went on MTV with durags, I made them love you / You know normally them people wouldn’t be fucking with you / Til I made ‘em understand why you do what you do.”)

Jay would put out a more perfect album two years later, and like many of his records this one features slightly too many songs that are either regrettable of forgettable. But the best songs here were just about the best this era of rap music had to offer. — JS


3. Vol. 2… Hard Knock Life (1998)


On his third album, Jay-Z began to ease into a playfulness that came as easy to him as being a hardass, setting up a contrast between his paranoia and desperation and the deftness of his untroubled flow. More than anything, he created a unified musical picture for the first time, on what would be the first great pop-rap blockbuster of several that would come in rapid succession.

Vol. 2 hangs its hat on the work of producers who were doing their best to surprise with every new beat at that time–formidable talents Swizz Beatz and Timbaland, in particular. This approach gave Vol. 2 a distinct feeling of modernity–not forced, but state-of-the-art. In sound, it was an exchange between motoric aggressiveness (“If I Should Die”), club swagginess (timeless Jermaine Dupri-masterminded classic “Money Ain’t a Thang,” Irv Gotti’s “Can I Get A…”), and harder-to-characterize composites like the Superfly-sque “Reservoir Dogs” or the spacey diversion “It’s Alright (Streets Is Watching”). Jay seemed to feel comfortable at every turn.

Even one of the album’s most bizarre musical moments would prove to be a disruptor on the charts. “Money Cash Hoes” was backed up by what sounded like an orchestra of double-basses randomly rattling your speakers by ominous random plucking all while Swizz Beatz kept accidentally dropping something on the upper part of his keyboard. But over it, Jay was both as buttery or as stubborn as he needed to be, with a meta-message to his detractors: “I know they gonna criticize the hook on this song / Like I give a fuck…I’m just a crook on this song!” Jay Z was learning the value of being versatile. 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 DMX, his future tour mate who delivered two No. 1 albums in 1998, and who provided the perfect foil.

Jay came into his own as a master curator on Vol 2., stepping outside of the shadow of other people’s sounds and empires, namely Biggie’s genre-redefining craft and Bad Boy’s patented sleekness. Jay’s early fans and wary critics might have been resistant to the album’s Game Boy-ish sounds and streamlined choruses, but the truth was that here Jay-Z was finally beginning to help set trends rather than follow them. Collaborators were no longer making him; he was helping to make them.

Vol. 2 is in the select club of classic rap albums that are elevated rather than bogged down by their intense, grab-bag roster of features. The record comes across like a lavish party hosted by Jay-Z, if one in which the listener gets roped into one too many conversations with Memphis Bleek. Whatever the exact alchemy of Jay’s formula, it made for his first true commercial success, both in album sales and single play. Though he boycotted the ceremony because of its under-representation of rap talent, Vol. 2 was also his first Grammy win–an arbitrary but nonetheless significant anointment that helped him move further into the mainstream. Today, it easily scans as one of his most enduringly listenable albums. --WCW


2. Reasonable Doubt (1996)


There’s an alternate reality in which Kanye West isn’t a superstar, Rocawear is simply a typo, and the “Summer Jam screen” is just a screen. Reasonable Doubt was supposed to be Jay-Z’s only album. After major labels passed on him even though he’d already proven multiple times 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. “I think that’s the reason why it was so good,” DJ Clark Kent told SPIN last year. “‘Yeah, we gon’ do it. We gon’ put this record out and we gon’ walk away.’ That’s what the plan was.” Reasonable Doubt was also aimed toward a very specific group of people–those intimately familiar with dark, street-level capitalism. In a retrospective 2009 interview, Jay said the project was for the “guys who were out there just like me.” “It was like a secret missive. It was in code (for people who) really lived that life could really feel.”

The hindsight narratives often point to how Reasonable Doubt is a classic that happens to be a slow seller (a fact Jay himself has harped on), and also how it started to signal that Jay might be Biggie’s true successor—after all, his appearance on “Brooklyn’s Finest” was a big look. All of that overlooks the pure magic of this opus, though. New York had changed multiple times over and the hustlers of Jay-Z’s day were a dying breed, however, Jay was so gifted in his prose that people still use lines from this album as guiding maxims. Not the songs or verses—the lines, which are delivered in ways that willed themselves into ubiquity.

“On the rise to the top many drop don’t forget / In order to survive, gotta learn to live with regrets”–“Regrets”

“Money make the world go around so I made some to spend”–“Bring It On”

“You let your shit bubble quietly (And then you blow) and keep it cool”–“Coming of Age”

The morose and soulful production was inspired by what the collaborators grew up listening to. When those records reappear here, they don’t simply work to place Reasonable Doubt within a lineage—they’re deployed in ways that augment Jay’s realism. On “Dead Presidents II,” the sentimental keys of Lonnie Liston Smith’s “A Garden of Peace” are the bleak accents to Jay’s violent sacrilege (“Though his eyes said, “pray for me” / I’ll do you one better and slay these niggas faithfully”). Isaac Hayes’ “The Look of Love” arrives to give “Can I Live” a cathartic swing, a pained respite for Hov: “My mind is infested with sick thoughts that circle like a Lexus / If driven wrong it’s sure to hurt you.”

Two decades later, Reasonable Doubt still stands as a work of confidence and clarity. It also turned out to be a learning experience for its star: even the ghetto could elicit empathy. “A lot of people emulated it and related to the emotions,” he said in the same 2009 interview. “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


1. The Blueprint (2001)


Scarface’s verse on the lowkey Jay-Z classic “This Can’t Be Life” is still the most acclaimed and resonant part of that song—but it certainly isn’t the only reason it’s essential. Right before he steps to the mic, Jay throws out a line with such resolution, you forget it isn’t a universally accepted truth: “Everybody got a story. We all ghetto, b.” A big part of Jay’s significance was how he embodied that idea. 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. That charm peaked in 2001. Reasonable Doubt is the starting point of the Top 5 conversation—The Blueprint cemented it.

Some of the attributes that made Reasonable Doubt’s long reach a surprise are the same ones that made The Blueprint a cultural centerpiece. The throwback soul and R&B reappear with remarkable fidelity; within a year, Kanye West, Bink, and Just Blaze sanded off previous album The Dynasty’s ruggedness to again make a worn aesthetic feel definitive. This didn’t necessarily soften Jay up (track two is rap’s greatest diss song), but it was a space that allowed his lines to stick when they needed to. This is how the torrent of quotables on “U Don’t Know” and the unshakable cool of “All I Need” still feel urgent—never mind how the Rocawear shoutout dates the latter.

This is doubly impressive when you consider how those words rarely feel manufactured: They were of a particular experience that the wider audience gravitated toward. Yes, Jay and Nas were at war, but when the former remarks “I’m like a dog–I never speak, but I understand” on “Never Change,” you can hear a distant connection to Nas being “too scared to grab the mics in the parks and / kick my little raps ‘cause I thought niggas wouldn’t understand.” The contexts are different, but it’s the black voice being swallowed by circumstance all the same. 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. With The Blueprint, there’s a catharsis in hearing that those are shared experiences.

Of course, an inextricable part of The Blueprint’s story is how its release date happened to fall on Sept. 11. Whereas the Strokes were a rallying point west of the river, east of Prospect Park, Hov was a sliver of light. I was in fifth grade when I watched my classmate grow red-faced from violently sobbing at his desk, fearing that his mother didn’t escape the towers’ collapse (she did). The next day another classmate brought to school a piece of debris that landed outside of his Brooklyn doorstep, an early reminder of our own mortality. But by the next week, we were heartily singing “Izzo (H.O.V.A.).” Jay-Z had been rapping longer than we’d been alive, yet with Blueprint, he’d become a source of pride that felt specific to us. –BJ

  

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Anonymous
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Thu Jul-06-17 02:25 PM

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16. "Nah"
In response to Reply # 15


  

          

  

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Brew
Member since Nov 23rd 2002
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Thu Jul-06-17 03:36 PM

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17. "WHY. THE. FUCK. does everyone rank Vol. 2 so fucking high"
In response to Reply # 15
Thu Jul-06-17 03:37 PM by Brew

          

I WILL NEVER UNDERSTAND THIS.

Only here and amongst my own friends is that piece of trash weed-plate album ranked appropriately. That album fucking sucks.

---------------------------

Devoted to the art of moving butts.

  

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rorschach
Member since Nov 10th 2004
7184 posts
Thu Jul-06-17 03:57 PM

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18. "nostalgia...."
In response to Reply # 17


  

          

A lot of people outside of rap didn't listen Jay-Z until Vol. 2 came out. That album had big singles whereas RD and Vol. 1 had decent singles.

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Anonymous
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Thu Jul-06-17 05:11 PM

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20. "That album is the reason I never copped Vol 3 or Dynasty"
In response to Reply # 17


  

          

I absolutely hated that shit.

I played it before Aquemini (because I knew Aquemini would be better) and then after I played Kast, Vol 2 never got another spin.

That album was an overrated piece of shit.

Feature on every song and production was on some Casio bullshit for the most part.

I actually like it more now than I did back then.

But like the person above me said, a lot people became Jay fans off that album.

  

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mrhood75
Member since Dec 06th 2004
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Thu Jul-06-17 05:28 PM

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21. "Because it's the album with "Hard Knock Life" and his biggest seller"
In response to Reply # 17
Thu Jul-06-17 05:29 PM by mrhood75

  

          

It went 5X platinum in the U.S. and sold 10 million worldwide. And "Hard Knock" is arguably his signature song.

It also had some of his other biggest singles (Can I Get a..., Money Ain't a Thing, etc.)

So, for most magazines that do these lists, sales majorly factor in when they're assessing quality after the fact. In their view, if it was bad, then why did so many people buy it?

-----------------

It's the Hed Rush: http://hedrush.podomatic.com/
"We take rap serious, it's not a hobby to us."

I'm coming back on a fucking horse! (c) Benzino

  

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Anonymous
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Thu Jul-06-17 05:30 PM

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22. "Vanilla Ice?"
In response to Reply # 21


  

          

>In
>their view, if it was bad, then why did so many people buy
>it?

  

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mrhood75
Member since Dec 06th 2004
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Thu Jul-06-17 05:39 PM

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23. "Different time for hip-hop"
In response to Reply # 22


  

          

Vanilla Ice was obviously a blatant pop/gimmick artists who never had anything close to the success of "To The Extreme" before and afterwards. So now, when people look back more than 25 years later, they can write off the success of that album as coming from one huge single. It was only a cultural phenomenon for a brief moment in time, like the white rap version of "Macarena"

Jay-Z was already a known quantity and platinum artist who people knew had credibility and talent even before Vol. 2 dropped (I know it's been cool to Cuban B RD for a while now, but Vol. 1 was a big success as well). And he obviously he continued success afterwards. So it's not a stretch to elevate the most successful album by one of the most successful artists of the era.

-----------------

It's the Hed Rush: http://hedrush.podomatic.com/
"We take rap serious, it's not a hobby to us."

I'm coming back on a fucking horse! (c) Benzino

  

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Shaun Tha Don
Member since Nov 19th 2005
17117 posts
Fri Jul-07-17 06:14 PM

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28. "That was the album that put Jay on the mainstream's radar"
In response to Reply # 17
Fri Jul-07-17 06:21 PM by Shaun Tha Don

          

becoming his own man, no longer playing 2nd fiddle to Biggie.

Rest In Peace, Bad News Brown

  

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Ishwip
Member since Jun 10th 2005
19652 posts
Fri Jul-07-17 06:44 PM

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29. "Agreed, both of those are right there w/ Magna Carta and Kingdom Come"
In response to Reply # 17


  

          

>I WILL NEVER UNDERSTAND THIS.
>
>Only here and amongst my own friends is that piece of trash
>weed-plate album ranked appropriately. That album fucking
>sucks.

Vol. 2 in particular always pissed me off. Got me hyped with the Premo intro. :/

__
I don't like the beat anymore because its just a loop. ALC didn't FLIP IT ENOUGH!

Flip it enough? Flip these. Flip off. Go flip some f*cking burgers.(c)Kno

Allied State of the National Electric Beat Treaty Organization (NEBTO)

  

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BrooklynWHAT
Member since Jun 15th 2007
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34. "cause that album is Hov's most fun and he still spittin on it."
In response to Reply # 17
Sat Jul-08-17 07:31 PM by BrooklynWHAT

  

          

in the real world people fuck w/ that album heavily

<--- Big Baller World Order

  

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Brew
Member since Nov 23rd 2002
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36. "Tell me more about this real world you speak of. "
In response to Reply # 34


          

---------------------------

Devoted to the art of moving butts.

  

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astralblak
Member since Apr 05th 2007
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Mon Jul-10-17 01:46 AM

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42. "IT HAS 5 FUCN HITS. HITS that are good to great, still"
In response to Reply # 17


  

          

1. Hard Knock Life
2. Can I Get A...
3. Money Aint A Thing
4. Money Cash Hoes
5. Jigga What, Jigga Who

and it has album cuts like "It's Alright," "It's Like That" and "Reservoir Dogs"

everything else is forgettable to basura,

but those five songs defined folks lives / attached to memories, and helped change/define the sound of rap for the next couple of years.

I prefer Vol.1, Vol. 3, BP3, and MCHG to it, but it's hard to call that album trash

  

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Brew
Member since Nov 23rd 2002
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47. "Fair enough with this point."
In response to Reply # 42


          

>but it's hard to
>call that album trash

I guess the vitriol wasn't necessary on my part. I still don't get why it's always ranked so high (you yourself notched a bunch of albums above it) but the above is fair.

---------------------------

Devoted to the art of moving butts.

  

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Nick Has a Problem...Seriously
Member since Dec 25th 2010
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Fri Jul-07-17 09:48 AM

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27. "They got 11, 12 and 13 right"
In response to Reply # 15


  

          

Vol 2 & 3 are too high. AG too low.

****************************************
Falcons, Braves, Bulldogs and Hawks

"As soon as I saw "Goblin" ahead of "AmeriKKA's Most..." I closed the window. Nothing to see here." - mrhood75

https://www.discogs.com/user/nawynn79

  

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ChampD1012
Member since Sep 27th 2003
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Sun Jul-09-17 02:10 AM

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37. "Volume 3 is 6 on my list...i never understood the hate of that album..."
In response to Reply # 27


  

          

i understood volume 2 though...

  

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Nick Has a Problem...Seriously
Member since Dec 25th 2010
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45. "I didn't care for the production on most of vol. 3"
In response to Reply # 37


  

          

Rapwise it's one of Jay's best albums

****************************************
Falcons, Braves, Bulldogs and Hawks

"As soon as I saw "Goblin" ahead of "AmeriKKA's Most..." I closed the window. Nothing to see here." - mrhood75

https://www.discogs.com/user/nawynn79

  

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astralblak
Member since Apr 05th 2007
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52. "VOL. III is fo real some progressive ass rap production"
In response to Reply # 37


  

          

And has great rap on it.

  

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astralblak
Member since Apr 05th 2007
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43. "MCHG better than half of Jay's discog"
In response to Reply # 27


  

          

.

  

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Nick Has a Problem...Seriously
Member since Dec 25th 2010
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46. "RE: MCHG better than half of Jay's discog"
In response to Reply # 43


  

          

might be 4 songs I rock with on there. Def at the bottom half on my list

****************************************
Falcons, Braves, Bulldogs and Hawks

"As soon as I saw "Goblin" ahead of "AmeriKKA's Most..." I closed the window. Nothing to see here." - mrhood75

https://www.discogs.com/user/nawynn79

  

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BrooklynWHAT
Member since Jun 15th 2007
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57. "other than vol 3 being so high this is a great list."
In response to Reply # 15


  

          

<--- Big Baller World Order

  

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icecold21
Member since Jan 18th 2008
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Thu Jul-06-17 08:03 PM

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25. "RD is No 1"
In response to Reply # 0


          

BP
WTT
4:44
AG

I might prefer Vol 3 over TBA honestly, but I haven't listened to either in forever

_________________________________________

  

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j.
Member since Feb 24th 2009
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Fri Jul-07-17 09:18 AM

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26. "The Blueprint"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

2- The Blueprint
3- The Blueprint
4- American Gangster
5- Vol. 1 without the trash: City is mine, what girls like, and sunshine. Take out those 3 and it moves to # 3

The Blueprint is his best album. It's basically his Illmatic, forever cursed to match it (and failing miserably)

  

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MeInsideYouMakesGoo
Member since Dec 07th 2003
25 posts
Sat Jul-08-17 05:40 PM

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30. "RE: The Blueprint"
In response to Reply # 26
Sat Jul-08-17 05:48 PM by MeInsideYouMakesGoo

  

          

>Vol. 1 without the trash: City is mine, what girls like,
>and sunshine. Take out those 3 and it moves to # 3
>

Dude, peep the first verse. Check the rhyme scheme (trying to fit these syllables into the beat is next to impossible), the puns (he knows Suki's a Japanese name but that's what he's calling his half-Philippine thing, anyway, huh-huh, get it?), the extended metaphors (stuffing a buck?). His stop/start flow all around the beat here is second to none.

"Who be, in the Japanese restaurant, eating sushi
Drinking saki, it's me, and my mami with the doobie
Cutie, smellin' like Miyake, half-Philippine thing
For now, let's call her Suki, got me? This booty bangin'
Properly, in Versace pants, cocky bow-legged stance
A thing of beauty, watch me, body crazy
Tits Firm like Nature, Foxy, Nas, and AZ
Truly reason to bust the toolie and keep laced in jewelry (watch me)
Girlie tried to lure me and lock me you gotta get up early
Cause who's gettin' played is not me
"Surely you jest," she said, "if you thought I was purely
out for the buck you woulda fucked, stuffed, and dropped me"
I said maturely, "You right
But better safe than sorry, b'fore the lovebirds
Can move to the suburbs, I need to double-check your story
To make sure that you one of a kind
And you deserve to be my Sunshine"

Duuude...

Top 5:

1. Blueprint
2. Vol. 1 (natch)
3. Vol. 3
4. Black Album
5. 4:44 (recency bias slayed Reasonable Doubt)

I lost my American Gangster CD a decade ago and never picked up another one, so I haven't heard it in almost a decade but I remember really liking it...just not enough to buy it again (yet).

  

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Anonymous
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31. "RE: The Blueprint = most overrated hip-hop album ever"
In response to Reply # 26


  

          

>2- The Blueprint
>3- The Blueprint
>4- American Gangster
>5- Vol. 1 without the trash: City is mine, what girls like,
>and sunshine. Take out those 3 and it moves to # 3
>
>The Blueprint is his best album. It's basically his Illmatic,
>forever cursed to match it (and failing miserably)

  

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Nick Has a Problem...Seriously
Member since Dec 25th 2010
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32. "Why do you feel this way?"
In response to Reply # 31


  

          

The album is overrated but THE most overrated? My problem with the album is 3 cuts. Jigga That Nigga, Hola' Hovito and Renegade. They just don't fit on the album at all to me. Messes the vibe up. Takeover does too but fuck that, I love that beat.

****************************************
Falcons, Braves, Bulldogs and Hawks

"As soon as I saw "Goblin" ahead of "AmeriKKA's Most..." I closed the window. Nothing to see here." - mrhood75

https://www.discogs.com/user/nawynn79

  

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Anonymous
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35. "I've spoke about this before but"
In response to Reply # 32


  

          

The thing with Jay and his fans are that they feel he needs that A-list classic in order to solidify his GOAT status.

And the fact is, he doesn't have that album.

There are two trains of thoughts here;

1. Revisionist history with Reasonable Doubt. I've legit seen that album listed as the greatest hip-hop album of all-time online. But you know like I know, back in 96...RD was run of the mill...great album but I wouldn't blink if someone left it out of a Top 5 or even 10 of 96.

2. People who know that RD isn't on that A-list classic level then praise The Blueprint as his contribution to the list. I've seen that album legit listed in Top 10-Top 25 hip-hop albums of all-time and it simply isn't on that level.

You just named 3 tracks out of 13 that you could do without. On top of those 3, as far as I'm concerned, Takeover-Izzo-Girls is also a combination of novelty/played out status and get the skip button from me. So that's 6 out of 13 songs that have a fair issue with them. Everyone will see those songs different. Some may like more than others. But the point is that there almost half of the album that is not bulletproof. That to me is not an A-List classic that people make it out to be.

And it's all because Jay just doesn't have that album.

Let me conclude with saying that I do like The Blueprint. It has a tie to 9/11 as well which definitely helps its case.

  

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astralblak
Member since Apr 05th 2007
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Mon Jul-10-17 11:50 PM

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53. "jesus crist get over yourself"
In response to Reply # 35


  

          

You are just in the minority opinion of it. Blueprint is certified across many lines: critical, music snobs, general public

again you may feel it's not a masterpiece, but damn you love resorting to people just follow hype. and bruh you dont rock with "Takeover" or "Girls" lolzers. fucn weirdo

as for RD, how many times does one have to say only in hip hop is this goofy idea of when it dropped people wasn't rocking with it, a thing. who gives a shit, maybe folks over time realized damn that shit is the greatness. it's happened many time over the span of music.

  

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Anonymous
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55. "LOL"
In response to Reply # 53


  

          

  

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atruhead
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39. "I urge you to revisit I Know What Girls Like"
In response to Reply # 26


  

          


>5- Vol. 1 without the trash: City is mine, what girls like,
>and sunshine. Take out those 3 and it moves to # 3

that song was ahead of its time and it's actually hard now. It wasnt good to me until this past week

  

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Nick Has a Problem...Seriously
Member since Dec 25th 2010
15874 posts
Sun Jul-09-17 09:16 AM

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40. "Jay rapped his ass off but nah, you can keep that beat and hook"
In response to Reply # 39


  

          

****************************************
Falcons, Braves, Bulldogs and Hawks

"As soon as I saw "Goblin" ahead of "AmeriKKA's Most..." I closed the window. Nothing to see here." - mrhood75

https://www.discogs.com/user/nawynn79

  

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astralblak
Member since Apr 05th 2007
19404 posts
Mon Jul-10-17 11:17 PM

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50. "I did. That shit still basura"
In response to Reply # 39
Mon Jul-10-17 11:18 PM by astralblak

  

          

.

  

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BrooklynWHAT
Member since Jun 15th 2007
72404 posts
Sat Jul-08-17 07:30 PM

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33. "Blueprint, RD, Black Album, Vol 2, WTT. not fussed about the order"
In response to Reply # 0
Sat Jul-08-17 07:30 PM by BrooklynWHAT

  

          

AG, 444 and Vol 1 in the mix for 6-8

edit: Dynasty pretty good too.

<--- Big Baller World Order

  

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atruhead
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38. "you're a bozo."
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

>5) Unplugged (IDCIDCIDC)
>4) watch the throne
>3) 444
>2) reasonable doubt
>1) in my lifetime
>
>
>on sabbatical.
>
>does it really matter?
>
>wonder what bin's doing?
>http://i.imgur.com/phECCMp.jpg

  

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astralblak
Member since Apr 05th 2007
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Mon Jul-10-17 01:39 AM

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41. "really surprised at how many Vol. I choices"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

trust, there are great songs on it, but nah

1. RD
2. Black Album
3. Blueprint
4. WTT
5. 4:44 (no it's not too early, and I think with time, I'll prob have it at number 3 or possibly 2)

  

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Anonymous
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Mon Jul-10-17 11:32 AM

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49. "Take off 3 tracks and Vol 1 is his best album "
In response to Reply # 41


  

          

  

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astralblak
Member since Apr 05th 2007
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51. "Hot Take, stop this..."
In response to Reply # 49


  

          

bro, after the glory of the intro we get:

"The City is Mine" and
"I Know What Girls Like"... after 3 heat rocks we get
"Lucky Me" that tepid ass MOR production with "reflective" Jay
"Sunshine" which most folks hate, but I kinda dig, sometimes
"Face Off" sucks

so that's five songs off of 14 track album and only these are GREAT songs:
Intro
Imaginary Players
Streets is Watching
Friend of Foe 98
Where I'm From

it's around his 5-9th best depending on a person's taste "objectively"

  

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Anonymous
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56. "LOL"
In response to Reply # 51


  

          

I don't know why I didn't check with you in the first place before I stated my opinion.

  

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High Society
Member since Oct 13th 2003
6790 posts
Fri Jul-21-17 07:26 PM

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81. "I almost never agree with you "
In response to Reply # 49


          

but Vol.1 my 2nd fav Jay album.

Intro - one of his bests.

City is Mine -- man, ride around the city at night bumping this joint.
I had some girl friends in NY I went and visited one summer.
Their brother let them borrow his BMW, red leather seats. I asked if I could drive
and listen to one song lol.... this was it... smoking an L.
Never let someone tell you City is Mine ain't fire lol.

gotta remove track 3.

Imaginary Players...come on just like Players by Slum, Preem and him doing the
same thing with the Players part...

Streets is Watching

Friend or Foe 98

Lucky Me - I never heard anyone call this joint wack till Quest said he ain't like the beat on this very site. Go outside, people ain't skipping this joint when playing the album lol.

gotta remove Girls Like

not a huge fan of Who You Wit 2 or Face Off but you can keep one, pick one.

and then the last 4 joints are all Jay essentials... lol.

thats 11 out of 14 or 10 out of 14 if take off Face Off and Who You Wit but then add
In My Lifetime and you get back to 11 songs...

--------------
soundshape.tumblr.com

  

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Anonymous
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83. "RE: I almost never agree with you "
In response to Reply # 81


  

          

1 Intro / A Million and One Questions / Rhyme No More
2 City Is Mine
3 Rap Game/Crack Game
4 Where I'm From
5 Streets Is Watching
6 Friend or Foe '98
7 Lucky Me
8 Who You Wit Pt 2
9 Imaginary Players
10 Real N
11 You Must Love Me
12 In My Lifetime

^^^that would be his best imo

  

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dula dibiasi
Member since Apr 05th 2004
20455 posts
Mon Jul-10-17 11:07 AM

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48. "RD, TBA, BP1, 4:44, AG."
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

4:44 will move up at some point. i really really sat down with it this weekend. phenomenal piece of work.

___

it is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts. - sherlock holmes

  

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astralblak
Member since Apr 05th 2007
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54. "re-listening to AG soon"
In response to Reply # 48


  

          

.

  

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RaphaelSoulLee
Member since May 21st 2003
3455 posts
Thu Jul-13-17 09:12 AM

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58. "RE: top 5 hov albums"
In response to Reply # 0


          

1)RD
2)BP1
3)Vol.1
4)If I caaaaaan.....MTV Unplugged
5)AG

It takes all kinds to make up a world, son. -My pops

  

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Creole
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Thu Jul-13-17 11:08 AM

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59. "RD/4:44/AG, TBA, BP 2.1"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

There is a tie, in my book, for the best of his catalog. In 4th, there is The Black Album, and then there is Blueprint 2.1.

When they scaled it down to the best songs, they knocked it out the park.

  

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astralblak
Member since Apr 05th 2007
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60. "2.1??? wow"
In response to Reply # 59
Thu Jul-13-17 02:07 PM by astralblak

  

          

that's what I low key love about these. all albums will appear on some one's top 5

  

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High Society
Member since Oct 13th 2003
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Fri Jul-21-17 07:33 PM

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82. "Blueprint 2 shoulda been a classic."
In response to Reply # 59


          

They tried to fix it with 2.1 but they messed up the selection of the songs lol.

--------------
soundshape.tumblr.com

  

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My_SP1200_Broken_Again
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Thu Jul-13-17 02:19 PM

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61. "RE: top 5 hov albums"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

1. BP
2. RD
3. Meh.....






https://soundcloud.com/djchiefone/1992-mixtape
https://soundcloud.com/djchiefone/1993-mixtape
https://soundcloud.com/djchiefone/1996-mixtape-part-1
https://soundcloud.com/djchiefone/1996-mixtape-part-2
https://soundcloud.com/djchiefone/1996-mixtape-part-3

  

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dba_BAD
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Thu Jul-13-17 09:18 PM

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62. "moral of this post: I need to revisit american gangster"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

I totally dismissed it when it dropped

__

fairweather

  

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High Society
Member since Oct 13th 2003
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Mon Jul-17-17 06:31 PM

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63. "you really wont be disappointed. Roc Boys was just a celebration cut"
In response to Reply # 62


          

album is much different from that.

--------------
soundshape.tumblr.com

  

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Anonymous
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Mon Jul-17-17 06:36 PM

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64. "Roc Boys is dope as fuck"
In response to Reply # 63


  

          

  

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Brew
Member since Nov 23rd 2002
13631 posts
Mon Jul-17-17 06:57 PM

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65. "^^^ this is correct."
In response to Reply # 64


          

There's no reason to single that song out. It actually fits perfectly with that album and is a fantastic song one way or the other.

Seeing that response before actually seeing the body of the posts made me think the dude he was responding to specifically pointed out that "Roc Boys" turned him off from checking out AG or something. Since he didn't, I see no reason to single it out.

---------------------------

Devoted to the art of moving butts.

  

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Anonymous
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66. "Yeah I think HS assumed that since it was the single and..."
In response to Reply # 65


  

          

He said he dismissed it.

But the song is dope! The video is dope! That's what my idea of a good commercial hip-hop single is.

If I remember correctly, Hello Brooklyn was the song that stuck out on that album.

Fallin' is greatness.

And of course Nas has the line of the album...lol

  

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Brew
Member since Nov 23rd 2002
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Tue Jul-18-17 08:56 AM

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67. "Agree in full."
In response to Reply # 66


          

>He said he dismissed it.
>
>But the song is dope! The video is dope! That's what my idea
>of a good commercial hip-hop single is.

Yep. Likewise. He nailed it.


>If I remember correctly, Hello Brooklyn was the song that
>stuck out on that album.

YEP. That was the dud. And even that song has grown on me a tiny bit.


>Fallin' is greatness.

No ID !!!


>And of course Nas has the line of the album...lol

He sub-dissed dude on his own album. That made me so happy.

---------------------------

Devoted to the art of moving butts.

  

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Anonymous
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Tue Jul-18-17 10:43 AM

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68. "I thought JD did Fallin'?"
In response to Reply # 67


  

          

  

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Nick Has a Problem...Seriously
Member since Dec 25th 2010
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Tue Jul-18-17 10:52 AM

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69. "He did. No ID got co production credit "
In response to Reply # 68
Tue Jul-18-17 10:54 AM by Nick Has a Problem..

  

          

Not sure what he did and success was produced by No ID co produced by JD

****************************************
Falcons, Braves, Bulldogs and Hawks

"As soon as I saw "Goblin" ahead of "AmeriKKA's Most..." I closed the window. Nothing to see here." - mrhood75

https://www.discogs.com/user/nawynn79

  

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Anonymous
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Tue Jul-18-17 11:21 AM

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70. "Nice...No ID needs to be on more people's lists "
In response to Reply # 69


  

          

  

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Brew
Member since Nov 23rd 2002
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72. "Shit - you guys are right. My bad."
In response to Reply # 69


          

Newfound respect for JD all of a sudden. Where the eff did that come from !

Fire beat.

---------------------------

Devoted to the art of moving butts.

  

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Nick Has a Problem...Seriously
Member since Dec 25th 2010
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Tue Jul-18-17 01:18 PM

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73. "JD can get down when he wants to"
In response to Reply # 72


  

          

Just wish he did it more often. Needs to start working with more lyrical cats

****************************************
Falcons, Braves, Bulldogs and Hawks

"As soon as I saw "Goblin" ahead of "AmeriKKA's Most..." I closed the window. Nothing to see here." - mrhood75

https://www.discogs.com/user/nawynn79

  

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Brew
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Tue Jul-18-17 01:57 PM

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74. "Yea all jokes aside I know from his history that he has ..."
In response to Reply # 73


          

... skills on the boards. I just didn't expect that beat was his. Great stuff.

---------------------------

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dba_BAD
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Tue Jul-18-17 03:27 PM

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76. "i wasn't even really thinking abt roc boys tbh"
In response to Reply # 66


  

          

which for the record i feel pretty neutral abt lol

__

fairweather

  

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High Society
Member since Oct 13th 2003
6790 posts
Wed Jul-19-17 06:06 PM

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77. "I agree with everything yall are saying lol."
In response to Reply # 66


          

I figured he was turned off by Roc Boys, a little later in this post, I think he said
he was neutral about Roc Boys.


Roc Boys is dope as hell lol.
It fits in with the theme of the album for sure.

I just think the tone of the album is a bit darker than Roc Boys.

helluva album either way we all talk about it lol.

--------------
soundshape.tumblr.com

  

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Hitokiri
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Tue Jul-18-17 12:26 PM

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71. "The White Albulum"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

Can we take a second to recognize how dope that period was when the black album came out and then they put out the accapellas. Every few days another remix album was dropping. Not all of em were dope, but man, to me, that was one of the most fun album releases+receptions ever. So with that in mind:


1. The White Albulum (https://cunninlynguists.bandcamp.com/album/the-white-albulum)
2. Reasonable Doubt
3. The Bluepint
4. 4:44
5. American Gangster


Oooor:

1. Reasonable Doubt
2. The Black Album
3. Blueprint
4. 4:44
5. American Gangster

Vol. 3 is 6tg place on either list.

--
"You can't beat white people. You can only knock them out."

"There is only one god and his name is death. And there is only one thing we say to death: not today."

  

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dba_BAD
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Tue Jul-18-17 03:22 PM

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75. "i really liked the brown album too, i think those were my 2 fav"
In response to Reply # 71


  

          

of all the remix projects

bean one had some shit too but i cant find it to revisit if it really measures up the way i remember it

__

fairweather

  

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Hitokiri
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Wed Jul-19-17 09:47 PM

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79. "I just listened to both of them yesterday"
In response to Reply # 75


  

          

Yeah, the Brown album definitely my second favorite of the remix albums. I wish he hadn't used the clean acapellas.

--
"You can't beat white people. You can only knock them out."

"There is only one god and his name is death. And there is only one thing we say to death: not today."

  

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High Society
Member since Oct 13th 2003
6790 posts
Wed Jul-19-17 06:28 PM

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78. "White Album still has THE best version of Allure."
In response to Reply # 71


          

He changes the mood of the song to one of tension and anxiety.
Still play that joint and others off that album.

--------------
soundshape.tumblr.com

  

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Binlahab
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Thu Jul-20-17 04:44 AM

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80. "why in my lifetime?"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

rhyme no more
imaginary player
streets is watching
friend or foe 98
who ya wit 2
face off
crack game/rap game

AND where im from?!

perfect mix of hungry yet jaded...paid but still ghetto...beats on point AND finally...the streets is watching soudntrack project that came right after this with the movie?

no brainer.

  

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