Wale Reviews Jay Z’s ‘Vol. 2… Hard Knock Life’

Vol2+Hard+Knock+Life+hkl

Artist: Jay Z
Reviewer: Wale
Rating: Different Time Period
Anniversary: 15-year

Jay Z? Greatest to ever do it—hands down. No debate. If you debate you’re really just mad. You got some kinda inner joint, but he knows it though. I think that’s the greatest thing about knowing him is like, being around somebody who knows. It’s just like when Steve Young learned from Joe Montana.

I remember hearing it on PGC long ago. I think I was in middle school, eighth [grade] or something like that, and I remember listening to that joint, and I just remember “Hard Knock Life” being on the radio, and I was just like, “Yo, I’ve never heard anything like this ever.” Ever! Like, that hook ["Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem)"], I didn’t even really know what it was saying, but that mothafucka was so cold, man.

I just think it was a different time. You can’t even really rate no more ’cause the scale have just went like that. That would be considered a backpack record right now. Process that. Like, that would be considered an outright backpack record. No street niggas would rap on that right now. Not one. That was his most selling album ’cause of that song! ’Cause niggas wasn’t buying singles, like a lot of mothafuckas was like, “I wanna hear the Annie song.” And the album—that album was dark. Money, cash, hoes and all that. Wale as told to Emmanuel C.M.

  • Linda

    It’s nice that Wale is reviewing his manger and mentor CD from 15 years ago that’s cool but to say in this quote “Greatest to ever do it—hands down. No debate. If you debate you’re really just mad” That’s his opinion he can say that. But really Jay-Z is not the best that ever done it I believe title should go to Nas he change the way we look at hip hop
    period. Nice review though.

    • Peso

      This generation and beyond can only be great if they study the greats before them. This shows Wale is a smart dude and he’ll last a long time in the industry if he choses to. Nas is 1 of the greatest and 1 of my favorite but Hov is my all-time favorite. I agree with what Wale said he just didn’t go more in depth about it. Overall skill set Jay Z is the greatest ever. Like I always say Nas did win that battle (gotta keep it real) but Hov won the war …Nas ended up signing to Def Jam after that when Jay was the CEO/President …Hov got more money, fine wife with own money (Carmen & Kelis getting Gods Son for all he got) and there friend again so tell me who really won? Anyway back to Jay Z, from record sales, #1 albums, lyrics, trendsetting ability, pushing the culture forward and producing more revenue streams not usually associated with rap, song writing ability, stage performance etc. – that’s why he’s the greatest…PERIOD

      • Linda

        Nice point not knocking down what you said. But, think about this how may people that Jay-Z had to back stab to get to that point of his career. My opinion Jay-Z is not the greatest period. Their Nas and Tupac are. one thing i love about Jay-Z is that he’s a good business man. He sign his competitor because he knows that he can’t bet him. Nas will always have a number one album he’s last CD was number one rap and pop. So Nas has build his career that he can always have a number one album. I agree with you that Wale has learned for him greats. But, i would be very careful to choose Jay-z as a mentor just simply because he’s a Back stabber and will back stab anyone to get his way that’s truly the greatest of Jay-z

        • HerringKingOfArt

          Nas has had way more fall outs with friends than Jay Z to be honest. Jay Z is still with a majority of his day one niggas.

          • Peso

            Memphis Bleek, Ty Ty etc.

        • Peso

          lol …even as Hov #1 fan I am very objective when it comes to hip-hop and I feel what your saying. I can defend Hov all day but at he end of the day I’ve even felt he backstabbed some people (a la Foxy, Dame etc.) or it really looks like he did. There always 2 sides to everything so you just can’t blame Jay Z for everything that happens in a overall shady, cut-throat industry. The funny thing to me is Kanye doesn’t have a knife in his back, J. Cole and the whole Roc Nation doesn’t either. I like whats he’s doing over there at Roc Nation and seems like he learned a lot from past mistakes. A lot of artist development is going on over there (look at J. Cole’s progression). Roc Nation isn’t throwing there artist out there to dry and forcing them to make Pop hits and if they don’t they getting dropped from the label. In Jay Z book decoded he still had nothing negative to say about anyone and he talked about everyone in the book even people that’s dogged him still had nice words about them so I guess he’s just like anyone else in life…you live and you learn

      • HerringKingOfArt

        Regarding the Ether/Takeover era, I still think Jay Z had harder tracks.