I’ve been doing this blog for a few years now and somehow never said anything about my favorite rapper, Jay Z. Most times I will refer to him as the best rapper ever. I threw that in because I can differentiate between best and favorite. I started listening to him after The Blueprint dropped. Needless to say I’ve been listening since. In his prime Jay was a combination of Big Daddy Kane, Slick Rick, Notorious BIG and so many others. With that said, I’ll give my favorite songs from each album.
Reasonable Doubt: Politics as Usual; Feelin’ It; 22 Two’s; Coming of Age; Bring It On
In My Lifetime, Vol. 1: Intro / A Million And One Questions / Rhyme No More; Streets Is Watching; Who You Wit II; Where I’m From
Vol. 2…Hard Knock Life: Intro – Hand It Down; Money Cash Hoes; A Week Ago; It’s Like That
Vol. 3…Life and Times of S. Carter: Hova Song (Intro); So Ghetto; Dope Man; Snoopy Track; Big Pimpin’; There’s Been A Murder; Come And Get Me; Hova Song (Outro)/ Jigga My Nigga/ Girl’s Best Friend
The Dynasty: Roc La Familia: Intro; I Just Wanna Love U (Give It 2 Me); Street Is Talking; This Can’t Be Life; Stick 2 the Script; 1-900-Hustler
The Blueprint: THE WHOLE ALBUM FLAMES. U Don’t Know; Never Change
The Blueprint 2: Disc 1: Hovi Baby; Excuse Me Miss; All Around The World; Poppin’ Tags; Fuck All Nite Disc 2: Some How Some Way; Some People Hate; Blueprint2; Nigga Please; Show You How
The Black Album: What More Can I Say; Encore; Moment of Clarity; Public Service Announcement; Lucifer; Allure; My 1st Song
Kingdom Come: The Prelude; Kingdom Come; Lost One; Do U Wanna Ride; I Made It; Hollywood; Beach Chair
American Gangster: American Dreamin’; Hello Brooklyn 2.0; Roc Boys; I Know; Party Life; Ignorant Shit; Say Hello; Success; Fallin’
Blueprint 3: What We Talkin’ About; Thank You; Real as It Gets; On to the Next One; A Star Is Born; Already Home; So Ambitious; Young Forever
Magna Carta Holy Grail: Picasso Baby; Tom Ford; F.U.T.W.; Somewhereinamerica; Crown; Heaven; Versus; Beach Is Better; La Familia
4:44: The Story of O.J.; Smile; 4:44; Family Feud; Moonlight; Marcy Me
As I compiled this list various memories went through my head. For instance, I only liked Big Pimpin’ the first time I listened to Vol. 3. I was an 11th grader that was strongly rooted in Southern Hip Hop. I remember two of my good friends – Marcus and Shelton – rushing off from a football game to listen to an early release of The Blueprint. At that time, Shelton was probably the only person in our part of West Jackson listening to Jay Z. Like seriously not even joking. I enjoy listening to The Dynasty because Beans is snapping all over the place thus having my boy Ant say “we really can’t count this as a solo album for Jay.” An affinity for Jay Z’s music was one of the things that connected me and my wife. She’s a bigger Jay fan than I am. The countless top 10 and best ever arguments that I no longer care about. There are so many memories and stories that I can tell.
I got excited going through these albums and songs again. I laughed, got sad and so much more. And that’s with me not listening to the Unplugged album which features Jaguar Wright singing the roof off. That’s the beauty of music. It brings out emotions and helps us remember that we are alive. I hope your favorite(s) are doing the same for you.