Review Summary: One of the best Jay-Z albums ever made.
Robert Christagu: A
Entertainment Weekly: B+
Los Angeles Times: 3/4
Rolling Stone: 4/5
At the point of this album, Jay-Z had became an icon in the hip hop industry, you had to be living under a rock to not know who he is. Whether you love or hate Jay-Z, you can't deny his influence, his impact on the hip hop community and you can't deny his lyrical prowess. Around the time of this album, Jay-Z speculated retiring after this album, but of course he didn't. He has also launched the career of an MC, that is quite popular, that likes to start controversy, and has interrupted a pop/country singer, I'll just leave finding out who that is to you. He has also has an impressive discography, that has had barely any bad albums. This album was on the Rolling Stone Top 500 Albums of all time list, at 349th, being the 20th hip hop album on there. Now for the track by track review.
1. Interlude: Just an interlude, so I can't rate it.
2. December 4th: A classic song, that has Jay-Z talking about his past. One of the best Jay-Z songs ever, with excellent production provided by Just Blaze. 5/5
3. What More Can I Say: A classic song. 5/5
4. Encore: A classic song, with excellent production from Kanye West. 5/5
5. Change Clothes: A great song, that features Pharrell on the chorus, doing a good job. This is one of the most popular Jay-Z songs. 4/5
6. Dirt Off Your Shoulder: A classic song, that features excellent production provided by Timbaland. 5/5
7. Threat: A classic song. 5/5
8. Moment Of Clarity: A classic song. This song has been sampled in the songs, "Ghetto Show" by Talib Kweli, "In This World" by Reflection Eternal, and other songs. 5/5
9. 99 Problems: A classic song, that is one of the most popular, and one of the best Jay-Z songs ever. This song samples the songs, "99 Problems" by Ice-T, "Touched" by UGK, "Childrens Story" by Slick Rick, and other songs. 5/5
10. Public Service Announcement: A classic song, that features excellent production from Just Blaze. One of the best Jay-Z songs ever. This song samples the song "No One Can Do It Better" by The D.O.C, and other songs. 5/5
11. Justify My Thug: An average song, that has DJ Quik on the turntables, who is disappointing on this song. This song has been sampled in the song "Rock Box" by Run-DMC and other songs. 3/5
12. Lucifer: A classic song, that features excellent production from Kanye West. One of the best Jay-Z songs ever. 5/5
13. Allure: A classic song that features excellent production from The Neptunes. 5/5
14. My 1st Song: A classic song, an excellent way to end the album, and one of the best Jay-Z songs ever. 5/5
Overall I give this album, 9/10, 4.5/5, 96/100, and my grade for it is an "A".
3 Best Songs:
1. Public Service Announcement
2. My 1st Song
3. December 4th
3 Weakest Songs:
1. Justify My Thug
2. Change Clothes