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.