14 Songs, 55 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

The Black Album was said to be JAY Z’s victory lap before retirement, and he would’ve bowed out with a bang, serenaded by thrilling, brass-heavy beats from the best producers of the day. It’s threaded with the expected braggadocio—see the knowing "What More Can I Say"—but even better are the moments when Jigga turns inward. He raps of his mother’s love and his father’s death on “December 4th,” ducks the Devil's shadow on "Lucifer," and laughs with Biggie’s ghost on the triumphant "My 1st Song." A grand almost-closing, indeed.

Parental Advisory: Explicit Lyrics.

EDITORS’ NOTES

The Black Album was said to be JAY Z’s victory lap before retirement, and he would’ve bowed out with a bang, serenaded by thrilling, brass-heavy beats from the best producers of the day. It’s threaded with the expected braggadocio—see the knowing "What More Can I Say"—but even better are the moments when Jigga turns inward. He raps of his mother’s love and his father’s death on “December 4th,” ducks the Devil's shadow on "Lucifer," and laughs with Biggie’s ghost on the triumphant "My 1st Song." A grand almost-closing, indeed.

Parental Advisory: Explicit Lyrics.
TITLE TIME

Ratings and Reviews

4.5 out of 5
646 Ratings
646 Ratings
COD CHAMP ,

Amazing

Nuff said

something11 ,

My Favorite Hip-Hop Album

I'm going to start with this disclaimer: I don't typically listen to hip-hop, rap, R&B or anything of the sort. I'm a rock music guy, the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, the Doors, etc. But I picked this up a while back because I really liked the mash-up Collision Course. I wanted to hear the originals. I was utterly blown away once I listened to the whole thing. I had no idea that this was the "retirement" album for Jay-Z (especially since he released material after this) but if this had stayed as the last album he ever made, it would have stood out for years. What More Can I Say, Encore, December 4th, and My First Song all capture the don't-give-a-damn attitude he was trying to express throughout the rest of the album. Threats, 99 Problems, and Lucifer all beautifully capture the tumultuous life he's led without being to overbearing (if I hear about how 50 Cent was shot like a dozen times, I'm going to flip.) His raps are smooth and direct, the beats are tremendous, and the lyrics are reminiscent of an old John Wayne type Western where the old gun-slinger goes out and gets the bad guy one last time before either being killed himself or riding off into the sunset. In a way, I kinda wish this was his last album, because he would have gotten to go out on his own terms, like when the Beatles tried to make Abbey Road (arguably their best album) the last thing they released. Though on the same token, I'm glad that in a world of Soulja Boys and Rebecca Blacks, we still have someone that can actually write poetry. And if you can't respect that, you're whole perspective is whack. Maybe they'll love me when I fade to black?

BigEzay13 ,

Yo

This is probly one of the best jigga cd that he has made since the blueprint because it has some nice beats and producers and nice lyrics as well he really tells he if fading to black during the album beging to last

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