Artist: Jay-Z

Information about the artist.

Works

Album:The Black Album

The Black Album

Jay-Z

If The Black Album is truly Jay-Z’s last statement before retirement, he at least goes out near the top of his game. While it probably won’t be remembered as his best album, The Black Album is his most personal to date and features some of his most compelling writing. Jay-Z is defiant and defensive here—he’s trying to make sure his legacy is properly acknowledged, although he can get a bit heavy-handed at times. Still, he’s rarely been more incisive or insightful in his rhymes, exposing his own childhood struggles on songs like “December 4th”…

Album:Blueprint 2: The Gift & The Curse

Blueprint 2: The Gift & The Curse

Jay-Z

Do you want in on hip-hop’s dirty little secret? Well, not even rap’s greatest icons have been able to pull of a memorable, fast-forward-free double disc—2Pac’s All Eyez on Me and Wu-Tang Clan’s Wu-Tang Forever included. On this follow-up to part one, Jay teams up with Destiny’s Child’s Beyoncé on “03 Bonnie & Clyde,” a so-so remake of 2Pac’s “Me and My Girlfriend.” The Dr. Dre-produced remix to “The Watcher,” featuring Rakim, reveals that, in addition to expanding his audience, Jay is interested in appealing to his tried-and-tested demographic—East…

Album:The Blueprint

The Blueprint

Jay-Z

The Blueprint may be Jay Z’s most captivating record since Reasonable Doubt, but its predictably detached mood reflects the master hustler’s superior ability to trick out lackluster subject matter with lyrical complexity and brief flashes of manufactured introspection. The Blueprint, a solid mix of preprogrammed radio hits (“Izzo,” “Girls, Girls, Girls”) and better-than-average mid-tempo compositions (“Never Change,” “Song Cry”), confirms the Brooklyn rapper’s legendary status. Blistering flames of the Queensbridge/Jay Z feud fan high with…

Album:The Life and Times of S. Carter

The Life and Times of S. Carter

Jay-Z

On The Life and Times of S. Carter, Jay-Z’s century-closing guaranteed-platinum album, he compares his hit-making prowess to that of Michael Jackson—the unspoken difference being that Jigga appears to be far from wearing out his commercial welcome. For good reason, too; not only is the Roc-A-Fella king maker one prolific rapper and writer, his output is of high enough quality to keep heads ringin’. While there’s no single classic on the order of “Hard Knock Life” here, collaborations with Dr. Dre (the truly defiant “Watch Me”), Juvenile (“Snoopy Track”),…

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