JAY-Z "Reasonable Doubt" by James Scarboro

Sometimes an artist comes along and nails it on their first try and an instant classic is born. We now know the story of Jay-z,the super wealthy CEO of numerous companies and product lines. In 1996, when "Reasonable Doubt" first dropped, he was just a drug dealing husler, but with this record a legend was born. Rap music has always been a part of my life, from the days of Public Enemy and N.W.A., I've always been a big fan of the genre. In my opinion hip hop was at it's finest in the mid nineties when 2Pac was making his best records and the first records of the legendary Notorious B.I.G, Nas, Outkast, Snoop Dog and Jay-Z all came into our consciousness. Resonable Doubt was made by Jay-Z's label Roc-A-Fella records because all the major labels passed on it. They were ahead of their time and that decision launched a career that made everyone involved multi-millionairs. It starts off strong with my two favorite songs on the album "Can't Knock the Hustle" and "Politics As Usual" with Jay-Z showing off his skills that would later be proclaimed "The flow of the century". "Brooklyn's Finest" followes featuring Biggie and that says it all, it's a great song. "Feelin It" offers a 1920's era jazz beat and hook that complement Jay-z's rhyme style offering an interesting mix. Quite simply every song on the album is solid to spectacular as all "classic" albums can brag. You can put it in and just let it play. Other songs on the album feature Nas, Foxy Brown, Memphis Bleek, and although it doesn't say on the album notes, I swear Snoop Dog does the hook for "D'Evils". If you are a hip hop fan and haven't heard this cd, well, you're not really a fan. This is one of the greatest ever, and will forever be recognized as one of the best in the golden age of hip hop. Jay-z didn't invent the "bling", he just mastered it along with a story telling style that shows you his world. It paints a picture of where he's from, and also foresight in where he's about to go. I'll leave you with a quote from one of his later albums that rings true,"Can I live, I said in '96 that I came to take this shit and I did. Yes you did Jay-z, you revolutionized the game for all to follow, and it all started with "Reasonable Doubt".

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