Jay-Z
Reasonable Doubt


5.0
classic

Review

by HipHopKid USER (40 Reviews)
May 31st, 2015 | 16 replies


Release Date: 1996 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Jay-Z's magnum opus, and a good thing to look at for inspiration as a rapper.

Reasonable Doubt is Jay-Z's debut album, and before him being a businessman, Jay had one thing to prove. Jay simply wanted to prove he's one of the best rappers to ever pick up a microphone, and indeed he proved it. Before this album, Jay-Z had a few relatively high profile guest verses ("Show and Prove" by Big Daddy Kane, and "Da Graveyard" by Big L). Jay-Z's flow prior to this album was rather messy, and just didn't sound very good. However, with Reasonable Doubt, Jay-Z debuted solo with a much more refined, perfected flow.

Jay-Z's lyricism on Reasonable Doubt is incredible, as he raps about a wide spectrum of topics. For his regrets in his life ("Regrets"), to watching his younger friends prosper ("Coming of Age"), to just awesome brag raps which he displays throughout a majority of the album. While some may complain that he's too braggadocio, I say it's perfectly fine, since he makes it interesting to listen to. Over his prestigious lyrics and storytelling, Jay-Z picked an all-star cast of producers to add to the greatness of this album. Jay-Z grabbed DJ Premier, Ski, and others to lay their fantastic production work on this. Every beat on this album sounds fantastic, and fit Jay's lyrics excellently. There are really no complaints to be made with the lyrics or beats on this album.

Pioneering the mafioso sub-genre of hip hop, Reasonable Doubt innovated in that respect. As Jay-Z tells his mafioso stories, with Scarface and Carlito's Way-esque crime tales, he grabs you into the story. Jay-Z's stories fully immerse the listener, and keeps the listeners interested. Even Jay's brag raps keep the listener interested, because he doesn't just rap about how he has more money than you. Jay keeps it fresh by celebrating the fact that hip hop got him to where he is, and that he no longer has to sell drugs to feed his family. Knowing makes it hard not to cheer for him in what he does.

The bottom line is, that Reasonable Doubt is one of the most innovative, most lyrical, and simply one of the best hip hop albums ever. This album is Jay-Z's magnum opus, and although he reached his peak too early in some people's eyes, Jay really had nothing to prove after this album. Jay-Z continued to consistently release great albums after this one, but Reasonable Doubt truly cemented Jay's place as one of the all-time greats in hip hop.

Ratings:
1. Can't Knock the Hustle (feat. Mary J. Blige): 5/5
2. Politics as Usual: 5/5
3. Brooklyn's Finest (feat. The Notorious B.I.G.): 5/5
4. Dead Presidents II: 5/5
5. Feelin' it: 5/5
6. D'evils: 5/5
7. 22 Two's: 5/5
8. Can I Live: 5/5
9. Ain't No Nigga (feat. Foxy Brown): 5/5
10. Friend or Foe: 5/5
11. Coming of Age (feat. Memphis Bleek): 5/5
12. Cashmere Thoughts: 5/5
13. Bring it On (feat. Sauce Money and Big Jaz): 5/5
14. Regrets: 5/5
15. Can I Live II: 5/5

Best songs:
Dead Presidents II
Brooklyn's Finest
Bring it On
Can I Live
D'evils

Weakest song: Can I Live II

Production: 10/10
Lyrics: 10/10

Overall rating: 100/100
Grade: A+



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...



Comments:Add a Comment 
ZackSh33
May 31st 2015


698 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Ratings:

1. Can't Knock the Hustle (feat. Mary J. Blige): 5/5

2. Politics as Usual: 5/5

3. Brooklyn's Finest (feat. The Notorious B.I.G.): 5/5

4. Dead Presidents II: 5/5

5. Feelin' it: 5/5

6. D'evils: 5/5

7. 22 Two's: 5/5

8. Can I Live: 5/5

9. Ain't No Nigga (feat. Foxy Brown): 5/5

10. Friend or Foe: 5/5

11. Coming of Age (feat. Memphis Bleek): 5/5

12. Cashmere Thoughts: 4.5/5

13. Bring it On (feat. Sauce Money and Big Jaz): 5/5

14. Regrets: 5/5

15. Can I Live II: 4/5



Skippable songs: 0



Best songs:

Dead Presidents II

Brooklyn's Finest

Bring it On

Can I Live

D'evils



Weakest song: Can I Live II



Music vibes: 10/10

Lyric vibes: 10/10



Overall rating out of 100: 100/100

Grade: A+



^You don't need any of this

idontcareaboutthis
May 31st 2015


952 Comments


you say "Jay" 19 times in this review. chill. mix it up

BAT
May 31st 2015


1128 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

fuck jay-z

SharkTooth
May 31st 2015


14284 Comments


"Also, as idontcareaboutthis said, the use of "Jay" in the review is a bit obnoxious."

agreed, use Jay-Z, J-Hova, Hov, or even Shawn Carter

TooManyFriends
May 31st 2015


3405 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

he's made 11 albums since this one and none of them are as good as this one crazy

PappyMason
May 31st 2015


5702 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

he's made 11 albums since this one and none of them are as good as this one crazy



I don't find this that weird tbh. A lot of my favourite hip hop albums have been artists' debuts. Probably because they actually have something worthwhile to say/contribute.



This album's amazing agreed. I remember the production being pretty flawless. Ski Beatz!

thestop5
May 31st 2015


127 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Not gonna tell you how to run your own rating system but how can the album be 100% if not every song got a 5/5? Wouldn't it be a high 90. Like 98 or 99?

Lord(e)Po)))ts
May 31st 2015


67155 Comments


"Jay-Z's magnum opus, and a good think to look at for inspiration as a rapper."

*thing

Lord(e)Po)))ts
June 1st 2015


67155 Comments


honestly have never cared for jay-z.

rufinthefury
June 1st 2015


3398 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

He's just really boring

rufinthefury
June 1st 2015


3398 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

i dont even like him over Ye's beats and I'm a huge Yeezy stan

Lord(e)Po)))ts
June 1st 2015


67155 Comments


i despise kanye passionately but yeah i agree, I've never found anything appealing about his beats or his voice/rapping tbh

rufinthefury
June 1st 2015


3398 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

only credit I can give Jay is that he has huge presence. you know when hes on a song and you can totally feel him

Lord(e)Po)))ts
June 1st 2015


67155 Comments


i can also give him credit for being inside beyonce

RoundOnEndHiInMiddle
June 1st 2015


922 Comments


i don't care if she has one kid and another on the way, there is no way jay ever tapped that

HipHopKid
June 3rd 2015


54 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

@TheStop5 Certain albums I make exceptions for that, like this one.



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