🎵 How Good Are They Really 🎵 Jay-Z

Listening again I remember it got a lot of press on account of the slightly ‘hmm’ nature of the line about Jewish people.

Yeah, that line is a bit :grimacing:

I don’t have Tidal, and Jay-Z isn’t on Spotify, so I quite like that if I want to hear one of his albums then I have to go out and buy it. Quaint notion that that is!

1 Like

Jay-Z convo? count me in. This is pretty easily a 5 for me despite not caring about his music much since like … 2002-2003?

Correctly Rated

  • reasonable doubt – classic ny boom bap, up there with the best of its kind. the can i live beat still gives me goosebumps, when that beat drops in >. d’evils, dead prez 2, friend or foe, 22 twos, feelin it… all tough and then the smooth stuff too like politics as usual and cant knock the hustle. i didnt get this album until 98, first jay thing i got was vol 2. this sounded so different i was kinda bored by it at first, i wanted the hooks and weirder beats. but once i became an old head this album climbed up the ladder.
  • blueprint – im not really a fan of takeover, beat kinda plods along for me… but the electric guitar really does bring it together near the end. u dont know, never change, song cry. inspiring stuff.


  • Volumes 1-3 — all are really great in their own way. Feel like these albums arent getting enough love in here. Vol 1 has some of his best straight up track i think if it wasnt for sunshine this album would be seen as a ny mob classic. Intro/medley is so awesome, imaginary player, rap game crack game, you must love me, u must love me all classic. probably his best storytelling. Vol 2 is when he started in with the sputtering beats by swizz beats and timbaland. i love the singles all except for can i get a which i could just never get over Amils voice. his opening lines on ni**a what are permanently etched in my brain, up there with inspectahs verse on triumph. its got three of my fav deep cuts of his in reservoir dogs, its like that and a week ago. Vol 3 is sometimes my fav album of his. But it sounds quite different and frankly he’s in peak asshole form so you may be turned off by that. its hot, so ghetto, snoopy track, come and get me are all just incredible pieces of work.
  • dynasty roc la familia – 3 of my fav jay songs are on this (this cant be life, change the game, 1900 hustler) and speaking of those three tracks…
  • any and every song with beanie sigel
  • All of the quotable lines on hard knock life + that bass-line. people hate but that song is cool imo.
  • All of the Ski beatz produced songs


  • The Black Album – A good album with some great high points (threat, PSA, lucifer, dec 4th). This probably has more to do with a generation of people getting into Jay at this point in his career (99 problems, and dirt off your shoulder) and believing this is his best. Very similar to Kanye’s twisted fantasy album for me. I just … it’s fine to hold that opinion obv but I def have an old head approach to veteran rappers and this is i’m sure just a generational thing. But im sure many “black album is his best album” people havent really spent much time with the back catalog and/or just heard hard knock life and can i get a and just called it a day. idk im just old.
  • American Gangster – i got tricked with this one, peeps saying it was amongst his best when it came out. it is not. its fine and all but the problem is that he kinda forgot how to rap in any type of interesting way somewhere around 2003, so everything after is all just very stale and safe, something is missing, he’s not hungry any more, the subject matter changed to boring stuff, punchlines became a little cornier, etc. when i see this album ranked high i really have to side eye.


  • Justify My Thug – DJ Quik, my all time fav producer by a wide margin produced one song for Jay Z… ONE SONG… and it’s the worst song he ever produced. I’m depressed about it every day.
  • The R Kelly colab albums – pretty lazy. shoulda just done a few tracks and called it a day. i wont talk about the couple songs i like. if you ever want to read some strange stuff read about their tour drama. Jay partnering so much with Kelz will probably go down as the biggest stain on his legacy. i hope he wasnt involved in the sleeze and crimes and wasnt complicit in anything.


  • Empire State of Mind – hated this from the first time i heard and i knew it would be a massive anthem for decades to come. i like some alicia keys but she’s been a part of three of my least fav songs of all time (no one, girl on fire, empire state…)
  • Forever Young – LOOLLLLL cmon jay get a grip. i thought he would never recover from this.
  • The linkin park colab album – a clear cash grab that he never cared about

Pleasant surprise

  • 4.44 – a very solid album which i didnt think he still had in him. got me to reassess some of his later work and find a couple gems throughout. made me excited to see him on this tour a couple years back, which was a great show. he’s very much just in his lane on this album, low key and consistent, no genre hopping, no trying to shoehorn any modern flow patterns in, just perfectly comfortable and less braggy. i actually dont like the title track tho (hate the production) and kinda wish it wasnt such a talked about confessional cos now it’s a major part of his canon.
  • Watch the Throne – shoulda been an EP. it was pretty fun in parts and equally embarrassing in other parts (mostly kanye lyrical choices and some of Jays cadence choices). N**s in Paris and HAM still bring a smile to my face. Otis prob a bit overrated but they were having so much fun in the video i eventually came around to it.

i could listen to stuff like this all day:


So much ^this

1 Like

Forever Young is such trash, but the painful thing is that it’s popular. I think he’s played it as the closing song the last couple of times that I’ve seen him.

1 Like

so good i typed you must love me twice, each w a different spelling hah

1 Like

glamorous slaps

one of the best radio freestyles ever. even though L is approximately 100 times better jay is still great. took a rapper that ridiculous to outshine him

stoopid posse line-up

old school flows but arguably a far more exciting rapper

i’ve not read the thread yet and this is hardly underrated but still. such a great beat. could listen to that instrumental for hours

classic Preemo classic Jay

1 Like

also this video is underrated hiring the Louvre is exactly what Bey and Jay should be doing for videos

Underrated: lucky me & a week ago.

1 Like


Met him unlocked doors, off my keys
Yeah we spoke, much more than cordially
Man he broke bread with me, my business spreads with me
The Feds came to get me, we both fled quickly
Wasn’t quick enough to jump over the hedges with me
Got caught, and that’s when our relationship strayed
Used to call me from the joint til he ran out of change
And when he called collect and I heard his name
I quickly accepted, but when I reached the phone
he’s talkin reckless, I can sense deceit in his tone

kinda unfortunate he didnt get raekwon or ghost on this. or scarface.