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4.7 out of 5 stars
26
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 13 November 2004
Hardcore hip-hop fans generally dis Jay-Z because he's too succesful and isn't 'underground' anymore. Sure he went a bit mainstream between Reasonable Doubt and Blueprint, which he admits on the song 'Moment of Clarity' (" I dumned down for my audience to double my dollas. They criticise me for it yet they all yell 'Holla'"), but those two albums alone deserve him to be remembered for ever. As you know The Black Album is Jay-Z's last proper solo album and it's good to see he ended his carreer with such quality. Highlights include 'December 4th', rapping about his childhood; '99 Problems', which is slightly strange at first hearing but grows on you and is something different with it's loud rocky beat; and 'Public Service Announcement', which is a tour de force of lyrical wordplay and is lyrically the strongest song on the album ("I check cheddar like a food inspector"... whenever there's a drought get your umbrellas out because that's when I brainstorm"). However, all the songs are good, from the un-relenting 'Threat', to the Timbaland produced 'Dirt of Your Shoulder' with the only slightly wek songs being 'Change Clothes' (it's this kind of song which gets Jay slagged by hardcore rap fans) and 'Lucifer'.
So basically, if you like hip-hop at all you need this album. This is the perfect memorial to the career of HOV. R.I.P.
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on 28 July 2004
The Black Album is classic Jay-Z but at the same time something refreshingly different. Like his previous efforts the Black Album exudes Shawn Carter's lyrical brilliance, as he raps with effortless skill and clarity. Jay-Z probably rhymes in his sleep so skillful is his way with fusing words, "Encore" being a prime example.
Tracks such as "99 Problems" and "What More Can I Say" are not typical hip-hop tracks in terms of the melody. On a first listen you may be forgiven for thinking some of the tracks are questionable, but this is just because Jay-Z has once again switched up his style. It does not take long to realise that The Black Album is truly great.
The driving beat of "Justify My Thug", thoughtful "Moment of Clarity" and R.Kelly sampled "Threat" cap off what is a well rounded effort that impresses in every sense.
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on 27 May 2004
Jay Z has truly gone out on a bang with this album.
Personally I am also a Nas fan and I think that whilst Nas is definitely a better lyricist and more intellectually solid, Jay is the entertainer and pimp supreme.
This is the atmosphere that permeates The Black Album; whilst Jay reflects on his career and generally glorifies himself, he gets away with it because he pulls it off in style. The album is chock full of bangers: Change Clothes, 99 Problems, Dirt Off Your Shoulder, Encore are all heavyweight hits, whilst tracks such as Justify My Thug are hidden gems.
However, on Moment Of Clarity and perhaps also What More Can I Say, Jay is in a contemplative mood, and this and a few other tracks balance the album.
Jay-Hova has left the building - go listen to his exit.
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on 20 June 2004
There is not a dud track on this album, everything has a different flavour all with wicked lyrics and after havin it on repeat for 2 weeks im not even close to bein bored of it. Favourite tracks have to be 'lucifer' 'Dirt off your shoulder' 'Justify my thug' and '99 problems'
I would recommend this to anyone.
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on 27 May 2004
Amazingly, Jay Z has finally impressed me. He raps on 'The black album' superb, meaningful lyrics rather than his old boring ones. Some may disagree, but i Jay Z has come out with his best record here. If you didn't like JIgga before, then don't immidiately ignore this album, have a listen and you should be pleasently surprised! With tracks such as '99 problems' 'Dirt off ya shoulder' and 'Public service announcement' it makes this album one to remember. I don't htink the album is BRILLIANT, as Jay Z never will get that high in my ratings, he has never been a rapper for me, but it's definetely worth the price. It's a shame Jigga had to finish his career just as he was becoming decent, but well done to him, and check this out now!!!
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on 5 February 2004
Though nothing can top Sean Carter's early work, this is still an amazing album. The beats are clean and catchy and he certainly hasn't rinsed his rhymes. The last song on the album, 'My 1st Song' is possibly the best, followed by 'Lucifer', 'Dirt Off Your Shoulders', 'What More Can I Say?' and 'Change clothes'
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on 28 November 2006
I love this album. There, I've said it. I'm not the biggest fan of US hip hop, i'm much more a UK bloke, but this album is great. The beats are great, really nice variety to them, and Jigga's delivery is excellent, he's been blessed with a great voice to listen to. The lyrics are pretty decent, not brilliant, but not in any way average, and are very entertaining in places. The real thing i like about this album is there isn't a really bad track (i'm not a big fan of "Lucifer") and there is a great sequence of songs, "Dirt off your Shoulder" to "Justify my Thug", which are purely excellent. I'd definately recommend this to anyone who likes hip hop.
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on 19 January 2006
this album is in my opinion jay zs 3rd best album to date, there is great production from just blaze, kanyewest, 9th wonder. There is not a skippable track on it and it has some radio friendly songs and some meaningful songs and at the same time keeps it 'street' there are some great lyriscism and unbelievably good one liners, buy this now if you like good modern rap, here are some good lines off it
"my name is hov h to the o v i used to move snowflakes by the o z, i guess even back then you could call me C-E-O of the R-O-C" call me stupid but someone had to explain this to me for me to get it, so clever
"my mum and dad made love under the sycamore tree which makes me a more sicker mc than my mum would claim" something like that, you get the jist,
Peace
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on 20 December 2006
Wel well. This album is a toss up between Reasonale Doubt/In my lifetime1/Blueprint1 for the title of Jay's finest album.

This is a classic. Quality all the way through the album...

Jay goes out in style some of my favorites are Encore, Dirt off your shoulder, Lucifer...

If you havent bought it... make it next on your list
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on 4 December 2014
Great album, classic Jay Z. Love hip hop and this is solid gold.
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