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Best Jay Z Album

author
Bob Roberts
• Saturday, 14 November, 2020
• 10 min read

Nova did the unexpected once again last year with 4:44, delivering an effort that not only stands as, arguably his best post-retirement project, but one that deserves special recognition for the way it mines a wealth of new depth despite being Nigga's thirteenth solo album. Time will tell how high it truly deserves to go but immediately, this startlingly intimate, technically dazzling project is just the latest in a storied solo career that has excellence in spades.

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(Source: www.idolator.com)

Contents

That's to say nothing of the way he and his equally GOAT wife bodied beat the odds this year and delivered a compelling joint album that has more in common with Watch the Throne than it does “Hollywood.” Jazz is widely known as one of the greatest rappers of all time, and with good reason.

The man with many nicknames also has just as many hit songs. People think very highly of his debut, Reasonable Doubt, which is widely considered one of the best rap albums.

While people generally think that it drops off after a certain point, it's up to you to determine if that's true or not. This Jazz discography is ranked from best to worst, so the top Jazz albums can be found at the top of the list.

To make it easy for you, we haven't included Jazz singles, EPs, or compilations, so everything you see here should only be studio albums. If you think the greatest JayZalbum isn't high enough on the list, then be sure to vote for it, so it receives the credit it deserves.

Make sure you don't just vote for critically acclaimed albums; if you have a favorite JayZalbum, then vote it up, even if it's not necessarily the most popular. Can't Knock the Hustle (feat.

everything jay beyonce album apeshit djbooth still
(Source: djbooth.net)

Money Ain't a Than (feat. With 14 number-one albums on the Billboard chart (11 in a row as a solo artist), 21 Grammys, over 100 million records sold, and countless other side deals, he has repeatedly gone beyond the normal bounds of what a rapper could do.

It was impossible for anyone to imagine that this would be the outcome for the guy with the rapid-fire delivery that was best known as Jazz’s sidekick, but he’s reinvented his sound several times (with varying results) and has become a worldwide superstar. It’s baffling how this was included in so many best -of-the-year lists because The Blueprint 3 is the musical equivalent of an All-Star Game that’s full of incredibly talented people that have no desire to be part of the festivities.

The height of luxury rap, Magna Carta Holy Grail is full of references that are lost on the average listener and felt like Jay was bragging at us rather than rhyming to us. There are moments of poignancy, like the ode to his daughter, JAZZ Blue,” and the survivor’s guilt confessional, “Nickels and Dimes,” but they come towards the end, a bit too late.

The soundscapes, with their cool, mellow ’70s vibe largely courtesy of Daddy and the Hitmen, allow you to almost smell the incense and see the bell-bottoms and platforms, which ignited Nigga’s creative juices that had been lagging. He sounds more invigorated than he had in years, harking back to those days with his detailed rhymes and vivid storytelling that was like an updated version of Reasonable Doubt.

After remaining quiet for years, he dropped 4:44, a combination of apology and love letter, ostensibly to serve as the flip side to Beyoncé’s Lemonade. It’s once again the work of a middle-aged father, but unlike Kingdom Come or BP3, he is comfortable in that role, dropping dad jokes and trying to educate and uplift rather than simply boasting as he had in the past.

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While it did not have a different producer for each song as originally intended, it does feature a range of beat smiths (Just Blaze, Timberland, the Neptune's, Eminem, Kanye), each of whom brings a different sound to the proceedings and most deliver their best, forcing Jay to up his own game. The lone hiccup is the DJ Quick abomination “Justify My Thug,” in which Nigga invokes both Madonna and Bill Haley’s “Rock Around the Clock.” If it had been his swan song, it’s fitting that he would end it with “Allure,” a nostalgic track about the temptations of street life, and “My 1st Song,” in which he employs the double-time, stutter step flow that was his style at the start of his career, remembering his days before the recording booth.

Then, there’s “Takeover,” which is in the conversation as the greatest disc track in history, so compelling and brutal that it changed the career trajectories of both of its targets, Prodigy and Na's, in opposite ways. His boasting was always offset by the things he saw and the different choices he wished he’d made, the rap equivalent of Michael Corleone sitting alone, staring at the water at the end of The Godfather Part II.

Though originally criticized for its materialistic approach, there is an undercurrent of doom and melancholy throughout, with Jay unhappily resigned to the life over beats that are rich but not overwrought from the likes of Clark Kent, Ski, and Premier. All of it comes together on “D’Evils,” when he concludes a verse of homophones and imagery with the chilling line, “In time, I’ll take away your miseries and make it mine.” He would go on to have one of the most celebrated music careers in history, but no project can overtake the one that was the culmination of his entire life up to that point, when Jay- Z still employed an umlaut over his name.

N = number of ratings an item has currently received. M = minimum number of ratings required for an item to appear in a 'top-rated' chart (currently 10).

With 4 classics: Reasonable Doubt, The Blueprint 1 & 2, American Gangster, he's def underrated here. The Greatest rapper of all time.

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He is a very talented rapper, but his best work was bringing Kanye into light. Doesn't have the individual standout album to rival Ready to Die, Climatic, 36 Chambers, or Things Fall Apart.

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