Jay-Z doesnt write down lyrics;
instead, he does his rapping from memory. Yet,
with his latest disk, he has
just rewritten the history of rap. Billed as his final album, The
Black Album packs a serious punch. Accompanied by a bevy of producers,
Jay-Zs cocky flow has never been more welcomed and will surely be missed.
will take the listener. On the surface,
the autobiographical December 4th
sounds like the rags to riches story we often hear in hip-hop.
This time though, with some vintage production by Kanye West (Alicia Keys) and
narration from Jay-Zs mother, Gloria Carter, the
From the onset, it is obvious which direction Jay-Z (né
As the album progresses, Jay-Z takes you on a journey
through his storied rap career, touching on topics such as money, cash and,
you know. Change Clothes, produced by the
Neptunes (Justin Timberlake, Clipse) is a perfect lead single and should ease
listeners into the album, since it consists of some of the most tame content on
the album. The catchy Dirt Of Your Shoulder is a prime example of Jay-Zs
ability to craft an infectious single over an equally likable beat. Dont be
surprised if you find yourself bobbing your head to Timbalands (Aaliyah, Missy
Elliot) grimy, stony production. Moment of Clarity, a self-actualizing track,
and the guitar heavy 99 Problems, produced by Beastie Boys mastermind Rick
Rubin, add credibility to an already impressive set.