My top 5 Jay-Z albums

5. Watch the Throne

When first dropped, felt underwhelming compared to the hype around it. In hindsight, it’s a solid album with some great tracks. Sounds more like a collection of singles than an album but still enjoyable. It would probably end up #5 on Kanye list too.

4. Blueprint

Great album with some standout tracks (U Don’t Know beat alone is worth putting it in the top 5) but not as cohesive as some people like to think (you can’t claim it a soulful album with tracks like Renegade, Holla Hovito and Jigga That Nigga).

3. American Gangster

Truly cinematic. Jay’s last great album. It would’ve beeen a classic if they dropped Hello Brooklyn from it.

2. Reasonable Doubt

Both classic and personal favorite. Jay was still flexing his pure rapping skills and smooth jazzy beats where always the best fit for his voice and story. Only weak part is Ain’t No Nigga (due to basic beat and Foxy Brown terrible verse).

1. Black Album

Jay at top of his rap game. No skips. Everything bangs. Add retirement story, Fade to Black documentary and all various remixes on top and you have a cultural milestone.

On a given day I might switch between Reasonable Doubt and Black Album for #1 spot.