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Ratings Game Music Presents: Top 5’s (Jay-Z Albums)

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We rank Jay-Z’s top 5 albums of all-time!


 

5. THE BLUEPRINT 2: THE GIFT & THE CURSE

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I thought Jay-Z morphed into a legendary hip-hop figure on “The Blueprint 2: The Gift & The Curse.” I get it, the album isn’t heralded as the best thing since sliced bread, but on it, Jay remade classics, collaborated with great hip-hop acts, did work with big-time producers, and in my opinion, spit his most impressive bars. All in all, “The Blueprint 2: The Gift & The Curse” was a great follow-up to the classic “The BluePrint.”

 

 

4. VOL. 2… HARD KNOCK LIFE

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For me, “Vol. 2… Hard Knock Life” was the album that made me pay attention to Jay-Z. Not only did it feature his biggest hit at the time in “Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem),” but it also featured other timeless hits like “Jigga What, Jigga Who,” Can I Get A…,” and “Money, Cash, Hoes.” Additionally, I feel like Jay was in his bad guy/asshole bag on the album — A persona he only manifested more and more as time went by.

 

 

3. THE BLACK ALBUM

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Much like Michael Jordan’s last shot against the Utah Jazz in game 6 of the 1998 NBA finals felt like the perfect ending to a legendary basketball player’s career, “The Black Album” felt like the perfect ending for a legendary rapper’s career. (Both dudes came back from retirement a few years after their respective walk-aways, looking and sounding rusty as hell)

“The Black Album” is an album that features powerful instrumentals by legendary producers (The Neptunes, Timbaland, Kanye West, Just Blaze & 9th Wonder), dramatic subject-matters, and believe it or not, not a single rap feature. On the real, Jay-Z left it all on the court on the album, which resulted in hits (“Excuse Me Miss”), all-time great records (“99 Problems”), and even songs that made you tear up a bit (“Encore”).

 

 

2. REASONABLE DOUBT

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Nine times out of a ten, a musician’s best album is their first one. For the first five years of Jay-Z’s career (At least his album-making career), this was the case.

“Reasonable Doubt” is fantastic! As somewhat of a newcomer to the rap game at the time, Jay-Z acted like a veteran on the album, dishing out wisdom-filled tips on mackin’, drug-dealing, and mafioso-living. While Jay wasn’t as polished as a rapper on the album, he did dish out fantastic flows, memorable punchlines, and wicked lyrics that were literally unforgettable on the album. SN: The instrumentals on this album are GREAT!

 

 

1. THE BLUEPRINT

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I can already hear you guys calling “cap” on this selection, but it’s all good, I’ll convince you by the end of the next few lines that “The Blueprint” is Jay-Z’s best album!

Think about these facts for a second:

  1. The Blueprint was a coming-out party for not only Jay-Z, but also Kanye West, as Kanye produced four of the thirteen songs on the album (Including “Izzo (H.O.V.A),” “Heart Of The City,” and Takeover).
  2. One of the best collaborations in rap history took place on the album (“Renegade” with Eminem).
  3. One of the best diss records in rap history is on the album (“Takeover”).
  4. One of the best instrumentals in rap history is on the album (“Breathe Easy”)
  5. One of the best sappy rap songs ever is on the album (“Song Cry”)
  6. Jay-Z’s most strong-arming lyrics are on this album.

In my opinion, Jay-Z created a blueprint on how to create the perfect rap album with “The Blueprint.” No, it isn’t an emotional album, it’s just a very good album that real hip-hop heads should love (Not like, LOVE).


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