The Scoreboard

12.04.2013

JAY'S I

1. Reasonable Doubt (Classic)
2. The Blueprint (Classic)
3. The Black Album (Classic)
4. Vol. 2 (Classic)
5. American Gangster (4 1/2, cohesive)
6. Magna Carta (Fuckwit, Tom Ford, Oceans, Beach, On the Run, Grail)
7. Vol. 1 (Sunshine kills this album…fuck… Streets, Where I’m from, You Must Love Me…)
8. BP3 (Sorry critics, it’s good. Empire (Gave Frank a run for his money))
9. Dynasty (Intro alone…)
10. Vol. 3 (Pimp C verse alone… oh, So Ghetto)
11. BP2 (Too many songs. Fucking Guru and Hip Hop, ha)
12. Kingdom Come (First game back, don’t shoot me)

  • Angie

    A1 since day1

  • Purple Congresss

    catch up ninjas

  • Vladimir Francois

    blueprint in my opinion is the greatest hip hop ever made

  • Guest

    This is magical. Gotta say the Black Album, in my opinion the greatest hiphop album ever. And Jay made me fall in love with hiphop, so to me he is the greatest ever lived. He’s so much more than the game!

  • Bashie Saineti

    Here is the fact,I was born in 1990 and he was born in 1969,Blacks are still roughly misjudged,Segregation is still in command.Rap came along with drugs and pending with glory came chains and a new hustle.Sleepless nights are never a thing if you are stan of pop culture, so the scoreboard is basically a phase to what most people fail to complete.If we all looked at so many Artist none of them were never this good.I have to mention people like Mosdef who thought to take on rap and failed completely.The ideology of promotion can turn back on you,however to be a genius, is yourself emphasising what your past may have turned you to.Just wondering how many people agree with this post cause i am on my way to make a billion baby.

  • Anonymous

    This is magical. Gotta say the Black Album, in my opinion the greatest hiphop album ever. And Jay, made me fall in love with hiphop, to me you are the greatest ever lived. You so much more than the game!

  • Frazier Tharpe

    That “Sorry critics, it’s good” gotta apply to #6 too, they’ve been laming since July

  • Montrell Smith

    If this is the ranking, I don’t know how Vol. 1 is not four or five. Imaginary Player, Where I’m from, Streets is Watching, and Crack Game. Yeah, I am going charge this list to endless birthday shots of D’Usse.

  • Montrell Smith

    If this is the ranking, I don’t know how Vol. 1 is not four or five. Imaginary Player, Where I’m from, Streets is Watching, and Crack Game. Yeah, I am going charge this list to endless birthday shots of D’Usse.

  • Mike

    I always tell people AG is a top 5 Hov album, they don’t hear me though! But BP3 can’t just hang on the coattail of Empire State of Mind forever, c’mon son.

  • Shatique Morris

    If you know me or at some point have traveled through life with me, you would know how big of a role in 22 years of my life that this man has played. From “I’d rather die enormous than live dormant” to ”the drought will define a man when the well dries up
    You learn the worth of water without work, you thirst til you die, yup!”. Where I’m from we look to hip hop for knowledge. Rappers become the fathers to the fatherless streets and my RAP DAD is raising me right. People like Jay put the lenses on the blind and in many ways awake the walking dead. He to me represents hope. THE AMERICAN DREAM. Most importantly with me growing up without a dad, he represents a Man. I would like to say Happy Birthday to THE GREATEST, THE GOD MC, THE MODERN DAY PABLO, SINATRA AT THE OPERA, KING OF HIP HOP, MY HERO, SHAWN ”JAY Z” CARTER.

  • http://www.UncleSamMC.com/ UncleSamMC

    Dynasty is WAAAAY too low

  • http://www.UncleSamMC.com/ UncleSamMC

    Dynasty is WAAAAY too low

  • Trey Arline

    Vol. 2 is really waaay too high. It’s Only there for Hard Knock Life, it’s his best selling and it made him into the superstar he is now. American Gangster is (to me) leagues ahead. Love them both though and the top 3 are unmistakable.

  • Trey Arline

    Vol. 2 is really waaay too high. It’s Only there for Hard Knock Life, it’s his best selling and it made him into the superstar he is now. American Gangster is (to me) leagues ahead. Love them both though and the top 3 are unmistakable.

  • Kanae (Pearls and Peacocks)

    Yes, and I have all of them. He is the only artist that I actually buy a CD for instead of the digital.

  • SHiNE

    Ha.. “Sorry critics, it’s good.” Hov can’t let Sunshine hold that much weight on Volume 1, there’s too much amazing music on that album. At least we both agree that RD is his GOAT. Timeless music.

  • Anonymous

    Switch Dynasty and MCHG and it’s perfect.

  • James BlackFaced Niggero

    No way is Vol 2 a classic. Love ya Jay but no bro. Album is dated as fuck. As not stood the test of time. AG is classic to me but it;s only 5 years old….

    An Dynasty is better than Vol.1, Magna Carta (although MC is hard…Heaven and FUTW, Blue, La Famalia)

  • James BlackFaced Niggero

    Co-Sign

  • James BlackFaced Niggero

    Sunshine tho….

  • Anonymous

    I agree…Vol 2. screams 1998 but it’s definitely one of my favorites

  • Anonymous

    The Dynasty could either go above or under the Black Album

  • John Gabino Garay

    Reasonable doubt hit the streets my freshman year of College, but the vibe and tensions which scripted that album were already seeded into the fabric of our culture. Can I Live is one of the greatest Hip Hop tracks of all time. In my opinion even better then Rakims Melody. This album is a rappers album, its a lyricists album. It is probably why we can honestly say Jay Hova the Go.

    BP2 dropped around the time I was flying out west 6 months out of the year. I would catch the red eye, and let that album play straight through on my headphones while I attempted to sleep. Its because of that fact, that I hold that album in high regard. I believe its the fact I allowed the lyrics to hit my subconscious, which is where I imagine Jay scripts his psalms from.

    Kingdom Come had Beach Chairs on it. If you don’t understand the depth of that song, then you have probably never read the alchemists! Your possibly squandering your life away on the internet every day so forget you.

    Okay, I am done, I have a short attention span.

  • John Gabino Garay

    Your probably listening to the boot leg that leaked. Buy the official one, its not low.

  • EG

    an honest self-assessment.

  • http://str8outdaden.com/ Str8OutDaDen.com

    I agree with a good portion of his opinion, but Hov we gotta flip flop Vol.2 and American Gangster. If we split BP2 into two albums I think they would move up that list a little bit.

  • Brian Goon

    you silence those lies

  • Chris Creespy Pahla

    Black Album is the reason why i luv hiphop

  • http://www.PhillztheMC.com/ Phillz the MC – #TIMELESS

    Only quarrel I have is Dynasty ABOVE BP3.. You BUGGIN on that one Hov (Intro, Script, Cant Be Life, Soon You’ll, Where Have You Been, 1-900) Regardless all these are #TIMELESS

  • basedgenie

    Vol 2 did wonders not only for Hovs career but for hip-hop too, but as an album, American Gangster should be placed higher…if we are being objective

  • thib

    cant argue with this big boss… keep runnin shit

  • Anonymous

    You’ve been rude with BP2, it might be a little too long but I can’t lie, i’ve played this record like a motherfucker. Can’t say the same with BP3..

  • Carlos Bowen

    1. Reasonable Doubt (simply because it is)
    2. American Gangster ( Entire album soulful & realistic lyrics) – hello brook smh lil wayne should not have been on this album.
    3. The Blueprint ( Reinvented him and a new era of sound) ie Kanye + one of hiphops biggest battles
    4. Vol. 2 ( He became cleaver lyrically)
    5. Black Album ( was a huge moment in music ps: Allure alone is worth the album)
    6. Bp2 ( The talk of success, showed me that I could be more and gave me the drive to start my business and incorporate!)
    7. Magna Carta ( The creative process down to the marketing was genius) or at least seemed that way
    8. Bp3 (The flow on the intro) the video for on to the next one ruined this album.. D.O.A is amazing
    9. Dynasty ( huge for the ROC kinda began his reign as king)
    10. kingdom come (show me what you got, was huge… wheeeeeeeeeew one i first heard the sax. + lost one.
    11. vol 1
    12. vol 3
    Watch the throne was amazing but kanye seemed lazy..lyrically with the exeption of otis

  • Carlos Bowen

    1. Reasonable Doubt (simply because it is)
    2. American Gangster ( Entire album soulful & realistic lyrics) – hello brook smh lil wayne should not have been on this album.
    3. The Blueprint ( Reinvented him and a new era of sound) ie Kanye + one of hiphops biggest battles
    4. Vol. 2 ( He became cleaver lyrically)
    5. Black Album ( was a huge moment in music ps: Allure alone is worth the album)
    6. Bp2 ( The talk of success, showed me that I could be more and gave me the drive to start my business and incorporate!)
    7. Magna Carta ( The creative process down to the marketing was genius) or at least seemed that way
    8. Bp3 (The flow on the intro) the video for on to the next one ruined this album.. D.O.A is amazing
    9. Dynasty ( huge for the ROC kinda began his reign as king)
    10. kingdom come (show me what you got, was huge… wheeeeeeeeeew one i first heard the sax. + lost one.
    11. vol 1
    12. vol 3
    Watch the throne was amazing but kanye seemed lazy..lyrically with the exeption of otis

  • ivan

    Peace G. I’m Ivan. You’ve been attracting me, I’ve been attracting you. I’m in the soul group (brotherhood), and a grandson of Malik Shabazz (X). But not through Betty. I have a psychic oracle too, she first told me about you when I was 18, and that we’d be coming together. We are going to be meeting soon. I think you know what this is about. By the way I am going to be 22 on Jan 11.
    peace and light.

    contact me @ ivannathaniel@icloud.com

  • ivan

    Peace G. I’m Ivan. You’ve been attracting me, I’ve been attracting you. I’m in the soul group (brotherhood), and a grandson of Malik Shabazz (X). But not through Betty. I have a psychic oracle too, she first told me about you when I was 18, and that we’d be coming together. We are going to be meeting soon. I think you know what this is about. By the way I am going to be 22 on Jan 11.
    peace and light.

    contact me @ ivannathaniel@icloud.com

  • Light skin Tremaine

    Interesting, all those songs are why i for one love listening to Blueprint 2, i’d definitely put it higher, kingdom come too
    Do you wanna ride >
    lost ones >
    30 something >
    trouble >
    beach chair >
    a lot of gems on that album, all in all a pretty solid ranking

  • Light skin Tremaine

    Dude no

  • MV$E

    Vol 1 is way too low. It should be number 2

  • Light skin Tremaine

    Exactly, a lot of great records on that album

  • whyeyeschoicedotcom

    Still Droppin Platinum Albums…Every Year…and counting…when did jay z retire…?

  • Qhazi

    American Gangsta, like Tupac’s Makaveli, was showed an amazing artist also being dangerously real and insightful in relations to the plight of black men. Both those albums to me, you could just tell that they were in a space of complete clarity. I think AG need to be number 3!

  • Qhazi

    Oh…..And it was put out during the Don Imus and Oprah fuckery, when muthafuckas scapegoating black men and Hip Hop was at a fever pitch! It’s Ill when artist’s get challenged, like when T.I. was about to fall and came out with Paper Trail, but they rise to the occasion. Still waiting on Kanye to do that after his mother’s passing (with all due respect).

  • $tacks

    Most definitely Reasonable Doubt (D’Evils, nuff said)

  • Qhazi

    Agreed!

  • Qhazi

    Like your reasoning and placement for the most part….If BP2 was more cohesive I think that a stronger argument could be made for it. People do forget about Hovi Baby, It was all a dream, Guns and Roses, As One, Etc.

  • Qhazi

    …..Cool to see this expressed! I think a lot of people forget the effect that Hip Hop has and can have, especially in respects to those of us that grew up poor/in the projects! ….Building perspective from artists like Jay, Common, Nas, Lauren, etc, took me from having diminished spirit (Mom was a prostitute, most of my family abused or on drugs) to reaching heights of home higher education, home ownership, being a Director of a non for Profit, and having a Family (Wife and 2 Boys) that won’t mirror the shit I saw. These artists didn’t do all of that, but their reflections had a lot to do with it!

  • Qhazi

    …Hope Harry Belafonte sees this!

  • Qhazi

    …Hope Harry Belafonte sees this!

  • Qhazi

    …Hope Harry Belafonte sees this!

  • http://about.me/EdwardAgyeman Edward Agyeman

    I agree with this list. He’s in a league of his own and the only competition is his last album. American Gangster should be in the museum national archives. The Blueprint is the classic’s classic. Reasonable Doubt is still relevant today. If the Black Album was indeed his last, it would’ve been one of the greatest albums ever made. Peace and love, y’all!

  • POP

    POLITICS AS USUAL ….drops the mic and walks away

  • Samir

    In my opinion Vok 3 and BP2 is rated low. Especially Vol.3.

  • Samir

    In my opinion Vok 3 and BP2 is rated low. Especially Vol.3.

  • Chuk Stake

    I’d put Dynasty above Vol. 1… like you said Sunshine kills the album. And Dynasty for Just Wanna Love You, Squeeze 1st, and Where Have You Been.

  • Justin LaRose

    I know this

  • Andrew Rogowicz

    how can any yall question jay’s opinion on HIS own albums… damn everyone a critic

  • Justin

    definitely agree. the first three are undeniable although I’d put The Blueprint over Reasonable Doubt after many years with the order reversed. Black Album has always been 3rd.

  • Justin

    Over Illmatic?

  • Anthony is

    I agree with 1-3. I think Vol. 1 should be #4 and Vol. 2 = #5.

  • Anonymous

    i agree but sunshine is not jay-z favorite song but its mine lol…i think vol 3 should have being higher but apart from that he’s right…www.bigteespot.spreadshirt.com

  • King George

    I have no issue with the top 3. I do think that Vol. 2 is way too high tho. American Gangster is a much better album. If you scrap the horrendous Hello Brooklyn 2.0 and Ignorant Shit (not a bad song, but it doesn’t fit the overall narrative) and then end it all with Fallin’, you have a classic right there. I also thought Vol.3 and Dynasty were way better than BP3.

    My list would look something like this…

    1. Reasonable Doubt (Classic. Top 5 rap album of all-time. Without a doubt his greatest work)
    2. Blueprint (Classic. Top 15 rap album of all-time. Sonically redefined the next decade in rap music)
    3. Black Album (If it isn’t a classic, its VERY close. Perfect way to close out a career)
    4. American Gangster (His most underrated album IMO. It’s his last truly great album)
    5. Vol. 1 (City is Mine was ass and Sunshine was worse, but some of his best music ever is on here)
    6. Vol. 3 (Underrated. I really enjoyed this album)
    7. Vol. 2 (Pretty good album, just not nearly as good as Jay-Z thinks it is lol)
    8. Dynasty (I understand the purpose of the album, but I would have liked to hear more Jay-Z on it)
    9. Magna Carta (The album had some decent moments, but I wasn’t feeling it too much)
    10. Blueprint 2 (Some very good tracks on this album, but it was very bloated and had too much filler)
    11. Blueprint 3 (Sounded like something that was put together in a weekend or two. Lazy.)
    12. Kingdom Come (Its few good songs were very good, but the bad ones were just embarrassing)

  • King George

    I have no issue with the Top 3. I do think that Vol. 2 is way too high
    though. American Gangster is a much better album. If you scrap the
    horrendous Hello Brooklyn 2.0 and Ignorant Shit (not a bad song, but it
    doesn’t fit well into the overall narrative) and then end it all with Fallin’, you
    have a classic right there. I also thought Vol. 3 and Dynasty were way
    better than BP3.

    My list would look something like this…

    1. Reasonable Doubt (Classic. Top 5 rap album of all-time. Without a doubt his greatest work)
    2. Blueprint (Classic. Top 15 rap album of all-time. Sonically redefined the next decade in rap)
    3. Black Album (If it isn’t a classic, its VERY close. Perfect way to end a career)
    4. American Gangster (His most underrated album IMO. It’s his last truly great album)
    5. Vol. 1 (City is Mine & Sunshine were wack, but some of his best songs are on here)
    6. Vol. 3 (Underrated. I really enjoyed this album)
    7. Vol. 2 (Pretty good album, just not nearly as good as Jay-Z thinks it is lol)
    8. Dynasty (I understand the album’s purpose, but I would’ve liked to hear more of Jay-Z)
    9. Magna Carta (It had some decent moments, but it left a lot to be desired)
    10. Blueprint 2 (Has some very good tracks, but it was very bloated and had too much filler)
    11. Blueprint 3 (Sounded like it was put together in a weekend or two…lazy)
    12. Kingdom Come (Its few good songs were pretty good, the bad ones were cringe-worthy)

  • Lazeric White

    I couldn’t agree more. You are spot on with your critique.

  • Lazeric White

    Truth too much of the other guys not enough Jay-Z

  • Lazeric White

    Jay you are kicking yourself too hard for Sunshine. In My Lifetime Vol. 1 was a great body of work. Lyrically it’s one of the best. It was better than Vol. 2. Where I’m From, Imaginary Player, and You Must Love Me can trump most songs that are classics.

  • Ralph

    Can’t believe he put Dynasty at #9. Should be 5 or 6 in my opinion. BP3 sucks. Young Forever, Empire & Run This Town are one of the worst hip-hop songs ever.

  • Bri M

    I feel you!!! Yea Black Album #nuts and American Gangster… just listen to the things he says! Speaks volumes.

  • ChrisChris

    Kingdom Come last? The Prelude alone means its gotta jump higher. Tough ass Intro. Vol. 3 was one of my favorite albums. Played it every night when it dropped. Big Pimpin, NYMP, Some Like it Hot, So Ghetto, Theres Been A Murder. Gotta boost that ahead of Dynasty. Dynasty was Classic because of the times it was made in with the Roc Team. Can’t argue the first 3. Either way you a genius big bro and you gon know me soon!

  • Anonymous

    I will agree to disagree. Vol. 2 has some classic club records and some street classics. Nigga what Nigga Who, Hard Knock Life, A Week Ago, Its Like That…so on. American Gangster is cool but it was also one dimensional based off the fact that it was a conceptual album. Still great shit tho.

  • Esaul

    Well not everyone’s a fan of Nas. I never have been. Always preferred Takeover anyway.

  • MoneySax

    Here it go…

    1. Reasonable Doubt
    2. The Blueprint
    3. Black Album
    4. Life and Times Vol. 1
    5. American Gangster
    6. Magna Carta Holy Grail
    7. Blueprint 2
    8. Life and Times Vol. 2
    9. The Dynasty
    10. Blueprint 3
    11. Life and Times Vol. 3
    12. Kingdom Come

    Its crazy how each one of these albulms represent a period of my life. I can remeber pretty much one all of these dropped. Dope catalouge.

  • Jenn bissett

    vol.1 is my #1!!!

  • MoneySax

    My list would look something like this…

    1. Reasonable Doubt (Classic.Timeless album. RD is #1 no question)
    2. The Blueprint (Classic!! Renegade, Heart of The City, Girls, Song Cry,Never Change, Hovito.)
    3. Black Album (Classic)
    4. Life and Times Vol. 1 (Classic.Tracks like You Must Love Me, Where I’m From, Intro, and a few others makes this album stand out above the rest.)
    5. American Gangster ( One of the best lyrically. The beats on this one are crazy. The retro vibe with the Marvin Gay and old soul samples…Amazing concept album)
    6. Magna Carta Holy Grail (Incedible album. Oceans, Tom Ford, Picasso, SIAmerica, FUTW. I fuck with this shit.)
    7. Blueprint 2 (Jay’s most underatted. The tracks should have been cut back but I think Jay was at the pinacle of his lyrical ability. “I get stoned everday like jeseus did”)
    8. Life and Times Vol. 2 (Should have been higher due to the impact when it dropped. But the music really didnt stand the test of time.)
    9. The Dynasty (I love this album and wish it couldve be ranked higher but theres too many hot pieces of work on here.)
    10. Blueprint 3 (Dope album)
    11. Life and Times Vol. 3 (This album had a few dope moments… the Primo track is a classic.)
    12. Kingdom Come (Prelude, Lost One, Oh My God…Overall not his best piece of work)

    Its crazy how each one of these albulms represent a period of my life. I can remeber pretty much one all of these dropped. Dope catalouge.

  • Bmore_Al

    First 5 are fine.. although I would move American Gangster up a notch or two.. Magna Carta is waaaaaaay to high.. that should be 12.. Kingdom Come isn’t as bad a people say it is…

  • Carlos Bowen

    Thank You

  • James Samuel

    I wudda put vol. 3 last and the dynasty wudda been higher, I think he didn’t put it higher because that was more of a compilation album he did with everybody on Rocafella at the time but everything else I pretty much agree with…. just wish I still had my blue blueprint cd and black black ablum cds smfh

  • nn

    agree vol 2. should be way down on the list.

  • Justin

    Dynasty only has 3 good tracks

  • Justin

    Agreed. BP3 is also nicer than Vol. 1… To be honest, VOl. 1 beats are wack on some tracks and I’d have it at 10

  • Anonymous

    That Kingdom Come comment, I couldn’t agree with you more. Man I just listened to that joint all the way through, last week. I think that it ends up on the bottom because most people don’t know what to do with it, even Jay.. To me, KC has more of a deeper meaning. It was foretaling his future & where he was headed in life, meaning the kingdom is about to come to this. We all knew what we were used to Jay doing, then he said, ok, here is where I’m headed now.. Nickels & Dimes fits perfectly on KC. Oceans fits perfectly on KC. AG was for the non-believers because they were saying Jay fell off. I say, just let it exist on its own, because where ever you place it, it will probably be wrong. SMOKE

  • nn

    nah! Vol 2. wasn’t all that. A couple good songs, a bunch of filler, and a lot of guest appearances.

  • Mugabe Skerritt

    Rd, vol 1, black, mc all classics, when hip hop enters the history books you will be considered the greatest, your consistency is unmatched

  • AskQNA

    Am I the only one that thinks “Kingdom Come” is ranked way too low? I saw him perform this album when it first dropped and I’m always disappointed he doesn’t perform any tracks during his current shows. Title track alone is enough to bump in the car and Dig a Hole wins just for this line alone, “keep my enemies close, I give ‘em enough rope, they put themselves in the air, I just kick away the chair.” Boom!

  • AskQNA

    Am I the only one that thinks “Kingdom Come” is ranked way too low? I saw him perform this album when it first dropped and I’m always disappointed he doesn’t perform any tracks during his current shows. Title track alone is enough to bump in the car and Dig a Hole wins just for this line alone, “keep my enemies close, I give ‘em enough rope, they put themselves in the air, I just kick away the chair.” Boom!

  • AskQNA

    Am I the only one that thinks “Kingdom Come” is ranked way too low? I saw him perform this album when it first dropped and I’m always disappointed he doesn’t perform any tracks during his current shows. Title track alone is enough to bump in the car and Dig a Hole wins just for this line alone, “keep my enemies close, I give ‘em enough rope, they put themselves in the air, I just kick away the chair.” Boom!

  • AskQNA

    Am I the only one that thinks “Kingdom Come” is ranked way too low? I saw him perform this album when it first dropped and I’m always disappointed he doesn’t perform any tracks during his current shows. Title track alone is enough to bump in the car and Dig a Hole wins just for this line alone, “keep my enemies close, I give ‘em enough rope, they put themselves in the air, I just kick away the chair.” Boom!

  • Raymond

    I mostly agree with this list. Although, I would flip Reasonable Doubt and The Blueprint. Reasonable Doubt is the most important album to Jay, so I would see why it’s his top. But it didn’t separate him from Nas, Pac, or Biggie. It just put him in that conversation. Each of their debut albums were classics.

    The Blueprint, however, separated him from his peers (past and present) and is the most important hip-hop album from 2000 to 2010, both with Kanye’s production that set the stage for what the decade was going to sound like, and the emotional expression of a gangster in songs like “Song Cry,” “Never Change,” and “Heart of the City.” Those tracks paved the way, along with Em, for rappers to explore internal boundaries, of which now there are many. (See: Drake, Kendrick, Cole)

    I also think The Blueprint 3 should be higher, and the Dynasty, lower. Even though, Vol. 2 is a classic because of the singles off of it, BP3 should be right above it.

    BP3 might not be a classic, in the classic sense. Lyrically it isn’t where Vol. 2, The Black Album, or BP is at, but it has just as many singles as any of them. The back of the beat flow pattern on the intro is bananas, and I feel like it didn’t get the acclaim it deserved because Jay wasn’t releasing content at the same rate he was with his classics and it started to become cool to hate on Jay, just to be counterculture. But BP3 gave birth to Kanye’s current sound that found a home on his later projects, including WTT, Magna Carta, and Kanye’s DTF (which may be the album of this decade).

    Without the production and type of songs on BP3, you probably don’t get Drake or A$AP’s current sound, either.

    Just my two cents.

  • Joseph Sama

    idk why people love Reasonable Doubt so much, garbage to me. I base it on the albums and the artists that were out at the time, and Jayz was no where to be found. Biggie, Tupac and Nas were running things, Reasonable Doubt was a coaster in my house, kept my coffee table clean. my list is as follows 1)Black Album 2)Magna Carta (this will eventually be his best ever, it is growing in genius as it ages 3) BP (Em murdered him on Renegade) Honarable Mention) Reasonable Doubt, its okay///the rest are garbage, lets be honest.

  • Raymond

    I kind of feel you, but Vol. 2 has a lot of classic songs besides Hard Knock Life.

  • Joseph Sama

    you make good points throughout///good argument

  • Elvis Maduro

    No. Its not only there for “Hard Knock Life”. You’re out of your mind and obviously you’re either too young or not from NY. Vol 2 had “Money, Cash, Hoes” which was the hottest track of ’98 during a slew of insane amount of work put out that year by people like Lauryn Hill, DMX, Big Pun, Noreaga, etc. Remember, back in ’98, we got our music strictly from the radio and the radio is where it came from first. That song was an enormous banger that year that overshadowed a lot of great work.

    “N***a What, N***a Who” was another track that was bumped constantly.
    “Can I get A…” Really? You gonna forget about that track?

    Vol 2 with songs like this made Jay a star because with all the good work put out that year, Jay stood on top of everyone with Vol 2. Then everyone took notice and was like “damn, all this stuff is out and Jay is the best? He’s King of NY now.” And that’s where his reign started.

  • http://www.DoobiRocEnt.Com/ Doobi-Roc

    Even though Kingdom Come is at the bottom of the list (seems like everbodies list)…. This was my joint rite here. Seem like Jay was just siting cross a table talking to us on this one. I appreciated the open mindedness he gave on his life and thoughts of the world at the time.

  • Elvis Maduro

    The couple good songs that weren’t just good, they were straight bangers that people still listen to now. Money, Cash, Hoes along with Can I Get A.. and Jigga What, Jigga Who had the radio on smash that year while there was tons of good work coming out from Lauryn Hill, DMX, Noreaga, Big Pun, etc.

    Those songs and the album made Jay stand above everyone else that year and solidified his spot as the new King of NY.

  • Peter R

    The album I listen to most of Jay-Z’s is his Unplugged album. Love that record. As he said on there, “It’s the truest essence of hip-hop” and The Roots have never been better to back him up.

  • nn

    Vol 2 wasn’t even on the top 5 best of 98.

  • Beastie Love

    Illmatic is the ish!!!!

  • Trey Arline

    I just explained that the popularity of the songs are probably why he put it there, if you actually read what I was saying. It was good for it’s time but not many people would ever wanna try playing 80% of that album now, while people could bump the first 3 like it came out yesterday. They had bangers, and bangers are only riding a trend or sound that is popular for the time. 98 was a GREAT year for hip hop, but this never mentioned as one of the best of that year other than how much it sold. And all the arguments you have for it were FOR THE TIME THEY CAME OUT, not how they hold up today.

  • Anonymous

    I like the Magna Carta the best Jay.

  • C Dubbya

    By far Reasonable Doubt should be #1. First album getting into the game and showing the hunger. We know Jay could rap but he should he could carry an album and collab with the Biggie. Hard Knock Life and especially American Gangster reached back to those lyrical days. Magna Carta shows the overrall growth and reach of Jay to really incorporate different producers for various sounds. I only wish it could have been a double disc with various collabs with other artists (Outkast, Nas, Kendrick, Tip, Jeezy, 2 Chainz, Bun B, Kanye, groups like LInkin Park, Metallica, etc.) Doing that I think it could show how he could rock with anybody. Sort of like Biggie doing the song with Bone Thugs. I still lose my mind when Biggie says…armed and dangerous…….in the Bone Thugz style of rap.

  • Elvis Maduro

    YOU may think they don’t hold up today. That’s why I said you’re probably young or not from NY. People still play these tracks today so I’m not sure what kind of lasting power you’re trying to speak on.

    But in the end, it doesn’t matter, because Hov is the one who lived it and made the music. If he says its #3, I think he’s the better judge than either of us. And I’m siding with him on this one. Especially because I’ve lived in NY my whole life and when this album dropped, it took the hip-hop world by storm and this album stood above every other album that came out that year. And there were a ton that dropped. Hov will tell you the same thing.

  • Anonymous

    Because he put it out there for us to debate it

  • Jay Dubb

    Yeah Jay, I remember reading an interview how you said that ‘Sunshine’ and ‘Girls Like’ were two major missteps that kept Vol. 1 from being a followup classic to ‘RD’. You just got a bit too jiggy wit it, haha! My own list has one exception – Vol. 2 at #3….holds more meaning to me than Black Album – but the rest is how I rank your catalog! And, personally I have to say that Beans verse on ‘DO it Again (Throw Your Hands Up)’ is one of my fave 16bars in ALL of rap music! That alone made Vol 3 worth the $$! BP3 went heads up with Chef’s ‘purple tape’ and Rae outshines on that! Also for BP3, I just love how Swizz freaked ‘Dance’ into ‘OntothaNextone!’ GENIUS! :D

  • Trey Arline

    Aquemini released the same day. Nuff said.

  • http://www.UncleSamMC.com/ UncleSamMC

    Are you shitting me?

  • http://www.UncleSamMC.com/ UncleSamMC

    Are you shitting me?

  • http://www.UncleSamMC.com/ UncleSamMC

    Word, I don’t consider it a Jay album, but if he’s counting it as one, I have it higher. Beans was goin hard, so was Bleek & Jay was gully as fuck throughout.

  • http://www.UncleSamMC.com/ UncleSamMC

    Word, I don’t consider it a Jay album, but if he’s counting it as one, I have it higher. Beans was goin hard, so was Bleek & Jay was gully as fuck throughout.

  • Eric Lani

    That’s funny man I wouldn’t rate American Gangster as high. Maybe I need to listen to it more. You know how Jay can be an acquired taste…

  • Eric Lani

    You know you hip hop brah

  • Eric Lani

    It’s a master piece for sure!

  • Eric Lani

    Sorry Ether is 2nd best dis track only after Hit ‘em Up

  • Eric Lani

    Too bad this is only his solo albums. I would put watch the thrown at 6 and Best of Both Worlds… maybe right above kingdom come

  • My world

    These niggas don’t really know hip hop not music as ya can’t be a die heart jay fan cause volume 2 is bananas u can play that joint all way thru

  • Jermaine Alston

    why not streets is watching?? lol!! i’m just sayin!!

  • Fleetwood D. Savage

    I will definitely DISAGREE with you on that one !! Then again, I only listen to 3 tracks on the Black Album… I’m the cat that hates to hear my music edited (read as on a radio station).

  • jerome Ben

    what about best of both worlds?????

  • Julian Morgan

    i would switch american gangstar to go underneath Magna Carta, AG was kinda a weak album

  • Anonymous

    Vol 1. and The Dynasty are too low. Come on Hov

  • Ronald Holland

    Funny thing is everybody is rating the albums and critiquing, but lets be honest what other artist can you say even have 12 albums worth of music that you can even do this with. And regardless of the matter any one of us can look at this list and pick out at least 1 song from each album that we liked. I dont necessarily agree with the list but it’s his list not mines. Thanks for sharing Jay. Keep giving us something to talk about.

  • Ronald Holland

    Funny thing is everybody is rating the albums and critiquing, but lets be honest what other artist can you say even have 12 albums worth of music that you can even do this with. And regardless of the matter any one of us can look at this list and pick out at least 1 song from each album that we liked. I dont necessarily agree with the list but it’s his list not mines. Thanks for sharing Jay. Keep giving us something to talk about.

  • Ronald Holland

    I hear what you’re saying, but really what artist cd can you really listen to all the way through. I think Reasonable Doubt for me is #1. D’evils and Regrets stamps it for me. I also agree with you saying American Gangster is better than Vol 2. A lot of people forget about that cd but to me it was a modernized take on Reasonable Doubts although it was a conceptual album. The cool thing overall is that Jay got so much music, so many hits that we can even have these debates.

  • Ronald Holland

    Dope album

  • Ronald Holland

    It’s like that & A week ago are my favorite 2 songs on that album. The overall body of work was well put together.

  • Ronald Holland

    I agree with both. Jay did kill it on Vol 2 but do a lot of those songs stand the test of time is debatable. But think of it this way, could you really have a song like A Week Ago on his Black Album or even more recent Magna Carta. The thing with Jay is singles with most are going to stand true but he package his songs in a way that it fits for that time. He’s always evolving. Far as full bodies of work each other cds are classic of their time if they wasnt he wouldnt have 12 cds to rank. I can put any of these cds on and ride to it or skip to my favorite tracks, but its Jay he’s really the only rapper that has gave us 12 great to mediocre cds based on opinion to even debate about. That’s a feat in its own right.
    Your best shit aint better than my worst shit.
    It’s going take awhile for anybody to catch up to him.

  • Ronald Holland

    Far as the public I think American Gangster gets the least respect. That album was a great album. Only song i skip on that cd is Hello Brooklyn, and I til this day believe that was a give the people what they want track and it failed.

  • Ronald Holland

    I think this was just suppose to be about solo albums.

  • Ronald Holland

    Your best shit aint better than my worst shit–Enough said.

  • Ronald Holland

    That’s all that really needs to be said. He’s the most consistent. No other rapper let alone artist period can say they have 12 solo cds that are debatable.

  • Ronald Holland

    I like that you quoted the “I get stoned…” line. My favorite line off that album which I feel sums up a lot of career is off Some people Hate–All rough and rugged/addressing the mass public/ my attitude is fuck it/cause mufuckas love it. That tells you right there he not changing for nothing and without that mindset there could never be #newrules.

  • Ronald Holland

    I agree Ether was hard, and even though it was on the level Ether was to me Jay got his revenge just enough on The title track Blueprint 2. Is it oochie wallie wallie or is it 1 mic/is it black girl lost or shorty owe you some ice/i been real all my life they confuse it with conceit/i will not loose they try to help him cheat. Under rated track. One of my favorite Jay songs.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t get the connection from Beach Chairs to The Alchemist.

  • thecodefather

    American Gangster is a CLASSIC

  • eny

    This is my list based on everything in comparison to Reasonable Doubt
    1. Reasonable Doubt
    2. Vol 2
    3. Vol 1
    4. Black
    5. Dynasty ( I lived in Tompkins when this came out.. crazyy)
    6. Blueprint ( I don’t care)
    END OF LIST, nothing else matters.

  • Nick Sirris

    its him and I, Aquemini

  • Nick Sirris

    Can we all agree that Timbaland is the best hip hop and rnb “beatmaker” ever? He came to Jay with an idea for an album and Magna Carta is so damn good. And I do not really like Jay all that much to be honest. I come from the Tribe and Wu eras. Jay passed his potential with his business mind. That being said I listen to his raps now to hear what it would be like if a crack dealer became a half billionaire. Its very interesting to say the least. Kanye is the best artist of my generation. Hands down

  • Nick Sirris

    American Gangster should be moved to just under Blueprint 3

  • Nick Sirris

    Volume 1… Imaginary players, streets is watching, Who you Wit II, Real Niggaz, City is Mine

  • Zach Tyler

    He won a Grammy for it though.

  • Trey Arline

    The thing is, if they are that great, they will appeal to ANYONE of any region, not not just people that live in New York. That is where he’s from and he does it for his home city, but The Black Album, Blueprint, Reasonable Doubt and American Gangster hold up now because they appeal to EVERYONE. Good Kid, Maad City has such a relatable story to people that have never even lived in Compton. That’s what a true classic does.

  • Trey Arline

    And Ludacris won on in 2006 for Release Therapy, and Puff won the Grammy over Biggie’s “Life After Death” and “Wu-Tang Forever” in 1997. Grammy’s basically boost albums sales, and nothing more. :P

  • Trexin Witcher

    I feel that Kingdom Come was a very underrated album. By listening to his lyrics I’ve been able to follow Jay on his journey for years. Kingdom Come was an album of his maturity and progression. It was grown up Hip Hop! Its not hard to see why the response for his next album American Gangster was so much more positive then its predecessor . Misery loves company and when we cant relate we hate.

  • Zach Tyler

    True man. Still.. winning a Grammy kinda takes some of the air out of a “Not in the top 5 of ’98″ argument. Vol. 2 had a pretty big impact for me when it came out anyway (in 8th grade.. lol), so I’d beg to differ. Anyway some years it’s No Way Out or Release Therapy, some years its a Kanye album. Like you said it doesn’t really mean anything.

  • Ronald Holland

    That was well said. I agree. The interesting thing with Jay is he will count his loses. He made Kingdom Come and with one song he summed up his thought process with the album on American Gangster with Ignorant Shit. I think for him to acknowledge that people was not in tune with that album and practically make a mockery of the state of hip hop within that song was classic Jay. He put a spin on being an influence and putting a mirror up to the public and saying (just as the title states) you like this Ignorant Shit thats being put out. On Kingdom Come he took ownership of how influential he was but I just think it was too much of him trying to blantantly shape and shift the culture of hip hop. He obviously loves rap music and at that time hip hop was hurting and he tried to bring it back by almost making a new regime, but it was unfortunately a situation of show me dont tell me. But the also at the time people was stuck on Dipset so go figure.
    All that said, I agree Kingdom Come was underrated. Any album, any verse or any word that come from Jay is gonna be held at high regard so instead of trying to satisfy billions satisfy yourself and let the people decide at the end of the day i’m sure he was still satisfied with his body of work just for the fact it was 100% where he was at in his life at the time.

  • Trexin Witcher

    I couldn’t agree more. It was an album that made sense though right. Jay’s one of the best when it come’s to authentic lyricism it just sucks that he thinks he had to digress and “nigga” his lyrical substance after Kingdom Come. Shout out to Huey(Boondocks)!Im still an avid fan just disappointed in him for basically stunting the growth of his lyrical content

  • Ronald Holland

    At the time it was like the inmates was running the jail type situation. And in rap it was like a fad to dislike Jay Z. He “retired” all the rappers was like awe man why you retiring then he comes back and the snakes started to show. I think he addressed a lot on American Gangster as to why he took that approach. “Cant lie they had Muhammad Hovi on the ropes”–American Gangster. Regardless if the album was good to everybody or not he still proved his prescene alone is good for rap music, so in a way that Kingdom Come campaign as a whole was still a success.

  • Ronald Holland

    The impressive part of this whole topic is that we are comparing all of his solo albums to one another. What other artist can we say the same about.
    “Your best shit aint better than my worst shit”

  • Trexin Witcher

    Man I just listen to the Kingdom Come all the way through. Good fucking album only two songs suck to me “Anything” and “Hollywood” other than that all the way through good listen……………. 7 years later

  • Ronald Holland

    Yea I can agree with that

  • Ronald Holland

    That’s just it though. It’s not a classic album but its a good album. RD, BP, and Black are all rated at the top of practically everybodones list so those are classics going by what your saying, but 12 solo albums 3 classics is not bad. Some artist dont even have 3 legit solo cds. Crazy thing about Itunes switched up the game selling singles because nobody really make great albums anymore. Sure there are exceptions but to end the rant. Vol 2 was good and it honestly didnt need to be a classic.

  • Dee

    There are no wack tracks on volume 1. Some are acquired tastes but I would only go as far to say “I know what girls like” can even be discussed as a “wack” track (for Jay-Z). I would love to ask Jay-Z if he notices the lyrical influences volume 1 had on his flow and delivery moving forward. He may rethink his stance on volume 1. Also the vol. 1 intro, dynasty intro, vol. 3 intro and kingdom come intro are the best 4 intro’s by any single rapper on any group of albums.

  • Doz

    Dont matter where jay puts em to me,,ive never replayed any cd as much as ive played Jays.. They get better and better the more u listen.
    Gun to my head i pick the black album but i love them all,, especially the newer stuff, hate motherfuckers who cant let a rapper grow up.

  • KRIS COSTA

    Where does Watch The Throne rank

  • qoqo

    word? i think hkl, money cash hoes, can i get a, money ain’t a thang, nigga what nigga who and a week ago are all dope. maybe some filler after that, but that’s a lot of hot shit for one record.

  • Darius

    They all good i know all of them fan from day 1

  • Selorm Amuzu

    Crown should have been added to the Magna Carta list… That had one of the best production of the year !!!!

  • Anonymous

    Who gives a F about a grammy

  • Anonymous

    Money Cash Hoes > Aquemini, and Elvis didn’t mention the best song on the album Reservoir Dogs.
    Trey I was just bumpin Paper Chase on the A train yesterday playboy lol…Man 98 fresh out of Boys and Girls High, nobody and I mean nobody was listening to Aquemini. You were wet behind the ears in ’98 and that’s no disrespect, it is what it is.

  • Kevin Price

    I’d take vol 3 over the Dynasty (which is more of a compilation album to me) any day.

  • lucky

    i agree 100%

  • lucky

    no one can dispute the top 3 but i feel Vol. 3 should have been higher

  • james C

    I liked Kingdom come. It was Grown up. As we grow and mature it is good to see a grown up view. It was great for one album, real mature. Hate the fact everyone hates on it. the lead single was off, but the rest of the album was dope. Beach chair is one of my favorite songs.

  • Keyser Soze

    You buggin Jay. The assessment was great by all means, but you not respecting Kingdom Come. For you to even look at it the way America did is a problem. That may be your best album because it was ahead of its time and the double entendres there was MEAN. That was the transition album from Streets to Corporate, from Hood to Throne. Don’t let the reviews and feedback of the masses affect your perspective because you didnt think it was bad when you were in the booth.

  • Qhazi

    This is the first time I heard someone critique this album in exactly the way I believe it should be critiqued. I definitely think that this album was an Obama-moment for him, basically saying “I’m on the rise” in a way that not many could really relate to. The opening, beats, and confidence he exuded, with perfect rhymes that seemed to be delivered effortlessly was crazy. This album should stand alone.

  • Dontia

    as i have gone back through my Jay-Z collection…((all Jay-Z albums)) my fav has to be the Black Album a going away gift to his fans. #LoveIt

  • Peter Griffin

    hi

  • Dom Frank

    Kingdom Come is no way no 12. BP2 should flip flop to No 12.

  • Amiri Gollman

    i dont care what the critics said, kingdom come was best one, definitely shouldnt be below Blueprint 2 lol sorry.

  • http://www.twitter.com/biz4ever Brian Christopher

    It’s good to see people rally around Kingdom Come. It kills me that critics (and even Jay himself) throw that album under the bus.

  • PXFification .

    Damn. Where the hell’s the love for Kingdom Come? I don’t care what anyone says, & that includes you Mr. S. Carter, that album was amazing. It was mature first of all, but also, it marked the time when Jay’s hunger for success really began to be satisfied.

  • mike

    magna carta is the best album ive ever heard from any artist..biggie smalls next up..

  • Wes Hatcher

    Hahahhahaha righto.

  • Daryl McElveen

    BP3 should be no. 4 . First 8 songs are all classics

  • phuckaname

    I still bump vol.2 to this day, imo it indeed was one of his dopest albums, but that nigga dont seem to know wat he talkin about, that shit was straight fire

  • Jevon Adams

    i would put AG right below RD and BP1 . to me it was his last fully lyrical album. The beats gave a 70′s retro vibe that just roped me in . Songs like No Hook , Ignorant S**t , Party Life, American Dreaming, I know, Sweet, Success, Falling were so dope . It feels like a classic to me. To this very day i find myself playing this album the most. For some reason it has been underrated ever since. I think the is his most slept on album in his catalogue. i know im not the only who feels this way cuz this was his last solo effort to receive critical acclaim

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