“Reasonable Doubt” is a helluva debut album, right?
5. POLITICS AS USUAL
“Politics As Usual” is a smooth banger that features nothing but gangsta-ass lyrics.
I love how the random lady on “Politics As Usual” sings passionately on the chorus as Jay continuously adds the line “Politics as Usual” in-between. That s**t is genius, to me!
The beat attached to “Politics As Usual” is very cinematic. Not like ‘Blockbuster movie’ cinematic, more like ‘Leonard 6’ cinematic.
You can’t hate “Politics As Usual” at all.
4. CAN’T KNOCK THE HUSTLE
Jay-Z reminds the world that a hustler can be sly, slick, and braggadocios on “Can’t Knock The Hustle.”
Of course, Jay-Z kills each of his verses on “Can’t Knock The Hustle.” Since the song is powered by a serene beat, he hits us with a flow that is smoother than AC Green’s Jheri curl. As for Mary J. Blige, she adds a very soulful hook to the song. All in all, I love the chemistry between the two musicians.
Jay-Z sounds like he isn’t trying, but at the same time, like he is trying his ass off on this song (How the hell is he able to do that?).
“D’Evils” is a HOT track (No pun intended)!
That little devil that appears on all of our shoulders every once in a while takes over Jay-Z’s mind, body, and spirit on “D’Evils.” Throughout the song, the New York rapper talks about doing wicked things to his foes, selling drugs to nuns, and praying to Gotti.
2. FEELIN’ IT
Jay-Z hits us with one of the greatest flows of all time on “Feelin’ It.”
1. DEAD PRESIDENTS
Jay-Z really made a hot-ass song off a hot-ass line…
The production on “Dead Presidents” is phenomenal (It combines smooth vibes with the classic “Dead Presidents” line by Nas). Jay-Z shines on the song by hitting us with a sly flow that is a candidate for one of the best of all time.
Lyrically, Jay-Z shines on “Dead Presidents.” Throughout the song, he talks about threatening challengers, swimming in women, and spending money recklessly. It’s everything young black men hope for; sans a Big Mac with bacon in it.
SONG BY SONG BREAKDOWN
1. CAN’T KNOCK THE HUSTLE (5/5)
2. POLITICS AS USUAL (5/5)
3. BROOKLYN’S FINEST (5/5)
4. DEAD PRESIDENTS (5/5)
5. FEELIN’ IT (5/5)
6. D’EVILS (5/5)
7. 22 TWO’s (5/5)
8. CAN I LIVE (5/5)
9. AIN’T NO NIGGA (5/5)
10.COMING OF AGE (5/5)
11. CASHMERE THOUGHTS (5/5)
12. BRING IT ON (4/5)
13. REGRETS (5/5)
While there are some classic instrumentals on Reasonable Doubt, Jay-Z also drops classic verses, too! Throughout the album, he brings us into his world using vivid, complex, and clever bars. As the years go by, the more and more you will appreciate where the Brooklyn rapper was mentally on the album. Jay wasn’t talkin’ about vacationing with Maybachs back then, he was talking about living a life of crime. It was his life at the time, so that’s what makes this album feel so authentic.
I feel like rappers cannot make an album like Reasonable Doubt anymore… Not because of their talents (Or lack thereof), but because of the media nowadays. In order to understand Jay-Z’s lifestyle, you had to listen to the album; there wasn’t any YouTube or Wikipedia for you to read. Man, I miss such exclusivity.