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Vol. 3: Life and Times of S. Carter

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iTunes Review

Following the commercial success of his first three albums, Jay-Z had enough capital to pick his collaborators and Vol. 3: Life and Times of S. Carter is stacked with some of the best minds in rap. DJ Premier brings his street-bred sting to “So Ghetto” while Timbaland concocts a monstrous and vertiginous loop for “Snoopy Track.” Even as he delivers the goods to hip-hop purists, Jay still finds time to wrap the mainstream around his finger with tracks like “Things That U Do” and “Pop 4 Roc.” The most ambitious tracks arrive at the end of the album. “There’s Been a Murder” is an eerie panorama of criminal maneuvers, while “Big Pimpin’” is an unexpectedly extraordinary fusion of stuttering Bollywood beats courtesy of Timbaland and raw Texas attitude courtesy of UGK. Still, no song on the album captures Jigga’s ambition as well as “Come and Get Me.” Utilizing a three-part beat suite by Timbaland, he unleashes a portfolio of flows and boasts, including a classic verse about his stockpile of firearms. The song is proof of Jay’s uncommon ability to balance pop stardom and startling innovation.

Customer Reviews

Whoever thought young Shawn Carter would change the game?

Straight gangsta. This CD contains some of Jay-Z's best lyricism and the perfection of his song writing. Especially ill tracks? The duo "Come and Get Me" with "NYMP". Buy them right now.

Big Pimpin???

This album gets one star only because of Big Pimpin. This was by far Jay-Z's most commercial album. The beats were annoying synthesized or simple drumlines that a 10 year old could improve. The lyrics were below average at their best. Big Pimpin is the most solid track on the album, and even then it's beat is repetitive and the lyrics are poor. Overall Jay's worst album. Get Blueprint or Reasonable Doubt instead.


jay-z is a great rapper, and this album is ok, not spectacular. get big pimpin though


Born: December 4, 1969 in Brooklyn, NY

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Embodying the rags-to-riches rap dream, Jay-Z pulled himself up by his bootstraps as a youth to eventually become the reigning rapper of New York City and, in turn, a major-label executive following his short-lived retirement from music-making. In the wake of his 1996 debut, Reasonable Doubt, Jay-Z's albums sold millions upon millions with each release, and his endless parade of hits made him omnipresent on urban radio and video television. He retained a strongly devoted fan base and challenged whatever...
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