Never mind talking about being friends with the rich n mighty and bragging about money and lifestyle. This was when the young J was lean and hungry. The rhymes are tight and relevant and the production and samples are to damn soulful to bare. Premier League hip hop that don't stop. What happened to you maan! Biggs, Mary and Foxy also come to the party and they tear the sonovabi*ch up!
if you though that jay z just made popcorn rap, and never really thought he was worth your time, or just thought he was an overrated commercialized rapper, listen to it, because it proves how talented he actually is, this album is a classic in every sense of the word, it has something most rap albums nowadays lack, subject matter, lyrics, beats, meaning and originality, this album is basically chronicling the ups and downs, regrets and joys of being a hustler, the beats to start off with are great, this album was mostly produced by dj premiere, and he did a fantastic job, the production is clean, crisp, and fit jay zs flow and lyrics, my next point, the lyrics, the lyrics are some of the best rap lyrics ever, jay z has a great mutli-syllable rhyming scheme, it is amazing how he can change his flow to suit every beat, he has fantastic wordplay, very clever punchlines, and a great vocabulary, his subject matter is basically, as i stated earlier, the struggles of hustling, the ups and downs, joys and sorrows, and regrets(there is a song which has this title), overall, this is one of the best rap albums ever, and any rap fan should have it, it ranks up there with the likes of ready to die, illmatic, and lifestylez ov da poor and dangerous