The Black Album by Jay-Z was released under the pretext that it was to be Jay-z’s last album. Luckily for Hip-Hop lovers this wasn’t to be, but if it had been, Sean Carter would have certainly left us on a high.
Hailing from Brooklyn, New York, Jay-Z is widely regarded as one of Hip-Hop’s most influential artists, with a career that spans 25 years. In that time, Jay-Z or Hova as he’s also called, has released 13 studio albums and 51 singles and amassed album sales of over 140 million.
While arguments may rage about his best album, The Black Album, released on November 14th 2003, is often found in music magazines and websites ‘Top (insert whatever number they decide) Albums of all Time’. The album was met widely with rave reviews, and the three singles released from the album, ‘Change Clothes’, ‘Dirt Of Your Shoulders’ and ’99 Problems’, were all worldwide hits.
Total U.S. sales of The Black Album have reached over 3.5 million copies, making it Jay’s biggest-selling album of the 2000s. Jon Caramanica wrote in The Rolling Stone that The Black Album was both “old-school and utterly modern”, showcasing Jay-Z “at the top of his game, able to reinvent himself as a rap classicist at the right time, as if to cement his place in hip-hop’s legacy for generations to come.”
The Grey Album is a mashup album by Danger Mouse, released in 2004 and mixed the lyrics from The Black Album with the music from The White Album by The Beatles. Both Jay-Z and the surviving members of The Beatles were in favour of it’s official release but were blocked by EMI (spoilsports!)
Check out 20 top track by Jay-Z below in our Spotify playlist. Which tracks that we haven’t added would you add?
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