Jay Z celebrated his birthday by giving us his catalog in order from least to greatest. And as usual some agree and some disagree and some understand but would change it around again. So now it’s only right that I give my Breakdown of Jay’s catalog.
As a fan of Jay I have tremendous respect for his catalog and my list is based off of Nostalgia, Time and Place in hip-hop and resonates with me as a fan of Rap Music. So here goes.
1. In My Lifetime Vol. 1 – I know…This is probably is NO ONE’S Top 5 of Jay albums [Except Maybe @JRBang]…good thing we talking about MY LIST. Yes, Sunshine with Babyface and Foxy are on here along with The City Is Mine with Blackstreet….BUT! What’s also on here is 5 of My 10 Favorite Jay Z Songs EVER! Imaginary Player, Streets Is Watching, Where I’m From, You Must Love Me and Friend or Foe 97. This is the album that made me a Jay Fan and the songs I mentioned blew my mind when I heard them.
2. Hard Knock Life Vol. 2 – SHUT UP! This album spawned the Greatest Hip-Hop Tour EVER! This album has greatly appreciated over time and even the Featured Verses are hard! Everybody got busy on this album. This album is indeed flawless and lyrically one of the most borrowed from albums ever. The was the original “Retirement Album” until he sold 5 million. Jay officially put his foot on the neck of the game with this album. Too much impact to not be in my Top 5.
3. Blueprint – Not to many people can diss my favorite rappers and I not feel a certain way. This album was the start of the “Love To Hate Jay” period. I just played this album 2 weeks ago and I promised it sounds like he dropped it September 11th 2013. Kanye, Just Blaze, Timbaland and Jay…Classic
4. The Black Album – When I thought Jay was retiring I was a tad upset. Then when I heard this album I was like “Well…That’s how you leave out”. There is really no reason not to like this album. Although it wasn’t Jay’s last official hurrah, you can’t deny that it was some of the best work he but together.
5. American Gangster – I love this album because it was the official return of Jay from retirement and as close to “97 Jiggaman”as I was going to get. Blue Magic could EASILY be a bonus track on Vol. 1 [which is my favorite Jay Album]. This album is a culmination of everything I like about the rap career that is Jay-Z
6. Reasonable Doubt – I won’t be like the rest of the world and front. This album dropped in 1996 and I didn’t cop it till either Late 98 or 99. People always scream this is classic and the best Jay Album but it released twice in a 2 year period and STILL struggle to reach platinum and that was with Vol. 2 RUNNING The Charts and The Streets. Yes there are GREAT JOINTS on this album…It’s well put together but I’m not calling it my favorite cause Jay says it’s his….and you shouldn’t either.
7. Blueprint 2 “The Gift and The Curse” – Once again we have an album that has the literal BEST and WORST of Jay-Z….I think ’03 Bonnie and Clyde is not only one of the worst Jay songs ever but one of the worst remakes in Music. I didn’t like the reminder of Dre signing Rakim and underusing him and I felt some songs were just better of never hearing…..However The Curse is dang near FLAWLESS! If the curse was dropped with Excuse Me Miss, Popping Tags and My Way, Blueprint 2 would be in everyone’s Top 3. I’ll stand by that statement forever.
8. Roc-La-Familia – Honestly…I bought this album late and I will admit that it was WAY BETTER than my expectation. A part of me hates “Give It To Me” cause I couldn’t get away from it. However The Intro literally makes you listen to this album and may I add I thought I never wanted to hear Memphis Bleek again EVER until I heard this album.
9. The Life and Times of S. Carter Vol. 3 – *Sign* Never have I been so wishy washy on an album as this one. The Intro, Outro, Come and Get Me, Do It Again, Its Hot…I mean…this album Bangs…but then…The Song with Mariah and the Song with Amil and Bleek are SO HUFF that I made it number 9. I really had this at 8 until I looked at the track list.
10. Magna Carta Holy Grail – Real Life I don’t know if I even like this album yet. It’s some joints I like on here but I don’t even have it in my Top 5 of 2013. This is 10 by default. Jay is so successful that rapping is a take it or leave it hobby to him right now. I respect it, nothing last forever.
11. Blueprint 3 – DOA had me hype but front to back my exact words was “This Album is too elegant for me”. I am just not a fan of Jay and Bey collabs….on Jay albums. J. Cole did his thing on here and its not that this album is “whack” its just not what I wanted to hear. Really this and MCHG tie for 9th with Vol. 3 in my eyes.
12. Kingdome Come – Let me say…I think the 2nd Best Jay intro EVER is on this album. I loved 30’s the new 20. However, the best way to sum up this album…It’s the only Jay album that I don’t have a store bought copy of….and I honestly don’t plan to buy one. So if you give me yours, I’d appreciate it.
Bam! Jay’s catalog broken down by CamQuotes, Straight Like That!