Jay-Z
Cocaina

Jay1_450.jpg

How much does Reasonable Doubt mean to Jay-Z?

Last year, with a deal on the table offering him the presidency of the most revered label in hip-hop, complete ownership of his seven other albums (all of them platinum or multiplatinum) and the company he’d cofounded a decade earlier with his friends Damon Dash and Kareem “Biggs” Burke, Jay said he’d give it all up for one thing: sole possession of the publishing rights to his 1996 debut, Reasonable Doubt.

In the end, Dame and Biggs declined to sell him their shares of the masters. Jay took over Def Jam and kept the Roc-A-Fella name, clearly coming out on top. But when you think about it, you can see why he wanted Reasonable Doubt so badly. Why it’s so special to him. With one album, his first album, Jay-Z changed the old story’s ending. Look at the movies. Your favorite bad guy rarely makes it to the credits with his freedom or heartbeat still in effect—especially when he’s trying to be a good guy. Carlito dies on the train platform, George Jung’s busted in Blow. “Every time I try to get out,” says Godfather Michael Corleone, “They pull me back in.” Somehow, Brooklyn drug dealer Shawn Carter used his single Lotto ticket, the gift of rhyme, to avoid the seemingly inevitable 25 years in the penitentiary or an early burial 6 feet in the earth. Fourteen tracks of extraordinary East Coast trap music granted him his freedom and security—and gave us, the listeners, a classic.

The lingo was coded, but the message was clear. Jay never asked for sympathy as he dueled with the duality of dying dormant or living enormous. He just celebrated the struggle with Cristal. The nuances of the underworld never sounded so well lit. Reasonable Doubt told of the life and times of a calculated criminal cold enough to never get caught—but one who yearned to do what so many of his colleagues frowned upon: express emotion.

Ten years since its release, Jay remains retired from rap. (Officially at least.) Now he does his hustling from behind a president’s desk in a skyscraper on the west side of Manhattan. That’s where he sat down with XXL recently to talk about the one album he would have changed everything for. The one album that changed everything for him.

You’ve referred to Reasonable Doubt as your “baby.” You tried to get sole ownership of the masters last year—in fact, you were willing to trade the Roc-A-Fella name. Do you see that as being a major part of your separation with Dame and Biggs?
Nah, nah. It wasn’t over that album. It was growth. You know, people grow in different ways. But in trying to do the right thing, I was like, “Well, I gotta get something.” Like, if you were giving me Reasonable Doubt, then I’ll walk away from Roc-A-Fella—that’s gonna be difficult. It’s something that I just couldn’t just leave without both.

What feelings do you get when you listen to the album today?
Damn, this is gonna sound like a really shameless stunt, but it’s real: Chris Martin of Coldplay is a friend of mine. So when we started kickin’ it, he went back and got Streets Is Watching. He came back the next day and was like [in an English accent], “That’s not my friend. Who the fuck is that?” Even myself, when I listen to that shit, I be like, “Damn, I had just a whole different mentality.” They say you change every five years… I mean, I loved that period, what I was going for and how I was thinking.

What about that period did you love so much? From what’s on the album, it sounds like it was a pretty dark time for you.
To be honest, it’s not right, but I loved that guy. I’m still that person, but the thinking on how to handle situations was different, but just so ill. I listen to songs like “Can I Live” and I say, “What the fuck is that?” And “D’Evils,” that was just some sick, demented…

How long did it take for you to complete the album?
It’s cliché, but I really don’t remember the starting point. Like I can tell you when I did Blueprint, I did nine songs in a weekend. And The Black Album in a month. But Reasonable Doubt felt like I was making that album my whole life. Like I know the first records that I made from that album was “Dead Presidents” and “Ain’t No Nigga,” because they’re the singles.

This was a time when a radio single wasn’t so mandatory for a rap album. Did you realize you had a hit record on your hands with “Ain’t No Nigga”?
It’s funny, because I put that whole record together in my head. Even taking [the Four Tops’] “Ain’t no woman like the one I got…,” switching that to the beat. I produced that whole song. Like I wanted to do “Seven Minutes of Funk.” “Ain’t No Woman,” I had crazy problems with Jobete, which is Berry Gordy’s [publishing], over the lyrics. But I just put that song together in my mind. I didn’t know anything about making a hit. I thought they would play “Dead Presidents.” “Dead Presidents” was the A-side! That goes to show how much I know. The B-side was the one that made it to the soundtrack.

At the time, what percentage of your energy was spent on the music, as compared to the streets?
I want to say, umm…70 percent. Because when I said that I was gonna give it a try, I was really just like, “If this shit don’t work, I’m going back. So I’m giving it my all.” Of course, I had street people around me. I was still the same person. So I was freshly out, but I would say 70 percent was into the music, because I spent every day making music. I was going to Jack the Rapper in Atlanta. I was pretty focused when I was creating the album, ’cause there was Maria Davis every Wednesday and the Country Club and all these other things that we were investing time into.

It was Maria Davis’ “Mad Wednesdays” parties that inspired “22 Two’s,” right?
Yeah, that was my secret weapon. Any show I did, I would pull that out. I had that way before. I just did the second verse when I did the album.

Why didn’t you continue the concept past that verse?
I know. I’m not gonna front—I’m so silly about the literal sense of 22 twos that I didn’t want to make any more.

Jay2_200.jpg How did your street partners react when you’d say, I gotta go rap at Maria Davis’ tonight?
That’s how “Can’t Knock the Hustle” got made. I wasn’t saying that you can’t knock me for hustling. I was telling the streets you can’t knock my hustle. Because the streets is what I was doing, rap was my hustle. Rappers weren’t getting paid like that. We came pulling up—I don’t even know how we drank this stuff, 40 bottles of Cristal—in cars at events that rappers would be at. And we’d be like, What’s up with these guys? These guys are supposed to be rich. Guys in the streets, they’d look at rappers and be like, “You wanna be like him?” That’s why it took me so long, because I wasn’t doing that. [I knew] the minute I make a wack record or some shit that doesn’t sell, [the record company] will shit on me. [So I was like] I’m not fuckin’ with these people.

You mentioned “D’Evils” earlier. Did actual events inspire the song?
The funny shit about “D’Evils,” this might sound a little weird, but I remember I dreamt the beginning of the song. I called Biggie right after like, “Yo, I made up these fuckin’ bars in my dream.” It was a really weird experience.

Break this down now, because the verses are set up like a kidnap scene. You’re giving your boy’s girl 50 dollar bills in exchange for info. Yet she’s crying, wishing you and her man were still close…
Right, because of the greed she’s taking the money. “About his whereabouts I wasn’t convinced/So I kept giving her money until her shit started to make cents.” Now that’s a line—if you take money and break it down into a literal sense, when you chew money, your body breaks it down and takes what it needs. So when you take a dollar and eat it, it breaks down to cents, right? So I kept feeding her dollars until her shit started to make sense. See, it’s a double entendre. She feels guilty, so she crying because she knows her man is going down because of her. But with her greed, she can’t help but to take the money. That’s why I love that. I love, love that fuckin’ song.

“Friend or Foe,” fiction or nonfiction?
That’s definitely fiction, but it’s nonfiction in its approach. I mean, that shit happens every day. I just moved it just a little bit outside. I mean, I didn’t want to go to jail. Like we got into shit over being a New York guy in whatever town—Virginia, Maryland, every one of my stops.

Read the rest of this interview in the August 2006 issue of XXL (#83).

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  • Blazen del El’s

    Tight article… I think Jay is mad at Dash and Biggs though for not letting him get that master… such is life though..

  • ReDiCuLouS

    Everyone can learn from this guy…he is the master. When he said he was makin’ this album, it took his whole life to create, I believe it…but did he forget bout that old Jaz-O shit from like ’90-’91? You know…he be riggety-rappin’ like he DasEFX or somthin’. I think that every rapper’s 1st album is their best shit…cept maybe like Em…3 was the charm there. BEST SONG OFF OF REASONABLE DOUBT IS TRACK 13, “BRING IT ON”…Sauce Money, Big Jaz!!!! John Stockton could’nt assist you!!! lol~

  • lee

    YO DOPE AS FUCK. I Can’t wait for the next issue of XXL. RESONALBLE DOUBT is the 5mic double xxl CD.

  • The ON1E

    camron is better….purple haze is da bomb

  • http://kennethkia KENNY

    i remeber like it was yesterday it was written and resonbale dought came out the sam summer and i grab it was written cd cause nas was crazy in his prime and i grab resonbale dought tape cause i wasnt sure cause i heard big on it i got it to be for real. but music like them to albums will never be the same 96 was the best fellin music ever made cause hits was made accidental not on purpose as now everybody doing songs wit people they dont probaly listen to but gotta do it cause it sell. i hope nas and jay bing 96 back in a 2006 form

  • http://xxl r-d

    respect to xxl this is real hip -hop east coast boy i gonna cop this 1 . ive just got my ticket 4 jay z s show hes doin in manchester u.k big up to jay-z peace r.d aint nobody stoppin jay -z and nas period fuck 50 cent

  • JIMMY CA$H

    that’s one of my favorite albums one love jigga!

  • http://xxlmag.com Bishop Jim D. Allen

    Jay Z is one smart dude who handles himself some what like “Biggie”. I don’t agree with every word Jay Z has put on Wax, however; as a Man he has grown from Apprentice, Fellowcraft, to Master. I also think XXL did a fair job in interviewing Jay Z, although I think more serious questions were avoided. Jay Z says don’t knock the hustle, then why are people knocking Ja Rule’s hustle? Jay Z has went from Drug Dealer, Rapper, to President of DefJam, wonderful rags to riches story, nevertheless those who hustled with Jay Z in the streets, has become jealous of Jay Z. His friends are now his foes, who conduct stupid interviews, in hopes of discrediting him. The Rap Game is like the Street Game, as soon as one starts to tip-getting major paid, then come the Black Slave Traders to knock them off their square. The Black Slave Traders, are those who are Black, but sale other Blacks to Slave Owners (White or Black). Black Slave Traders are also those who do dirt in the HOOD, but call the police on others who do dirt in the HOOD. Jay Z, be careful of who you trust. Who will help the Widows Son?

  • http://rockthedub.blogspot.com khal

    can’t wait to get this issue.

  • bob

    i remember first seeing and hearing Jay on Rap City in 1996. It was right after they played Nas’ “If i ruled the world”, they played “Dead Presidents”. I liked the song instantly. Its funny to see where Jay is now when back then i just thought of him as just another dude. How wrong i was.

  • yvette

    I just love him so so much

  • Jeremy Scoggins

    I thought this guy was shot in Vegas in ’96? How’s he doing an interview?

  • Blogurl

    Interesting…def. gonna cop this issue

  • jrock

    jigga was never a huge crack slinger hes pure 100 percent rap singer. dude was kanes weed carrier then he jumped on jaz’s dick. im not saying dude never sold an eighth of yae before im just saying the eighth going to an ounce to a whole ki to the roc just is complete bullshit.all these rappers who busted out in the ninetees worshipped cats like preme,fat cat, and alpolike they were hood super heroes but never lived that life they just created movies through their words to glorify it and give themselves an image. and reasonabledoubt is one movie for the blind that is timeless.but shawn carter the hustler nah… completely embelished…even to this day.

  • http://www.myspace.com/theanticorp RoxStar

    “What about that period did you love so much? From what’s on the album, it sounds like it was a pretty dark time for you.
    To be honest, it’s not right, but I loved that guy. I’m still that person, but the thinking on how to handle situations was different, but just so ill. I listen to songs like “Can I Live” and I say, “What the fuck is that?” And “D’Evils,” that was just some sick, demented…”

    THAT’S THE JAY-Z I LOVE AND MISS TOO, THE ONE I RELATED TO!

  • http://www.myspace.com/pacinohistoryinthemaking Pacino

    Classic interview for a classic album. It make hungry rappers like myself get more insight on how to become a legend. “The Legacy Begins” Stay Tuned.

    -Pacino
    http://www.myspace.com/pacinohistoryinthemaking

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  • fortune

    Jay-Z is definently one of the greatest rappers of all time, but the nigga is so full of himself. He seems t never acknowledge the people who got em where he is @. How dare he say he produced the whole “Ain’t no Nigga” song, everybody who knows hip-hop music, knows Jaz crafted that whole shit.. He’s str8t old school and needs to seriously retire.

  • shortybee

    Reasonable Doubt is without a doubt (no pun intended) a classic. I mean i was mad young when it came out like 13 or so; but just hearing someone tell stotries of ill street shit but in a human way was crazy to me. I still get chills sometimes when I hear “d’evils” or “can i live”. Production was crazy… everything was intact. I think this album changed hip-hop forever.

  • http://Jea Yung “Cee-Eye” So Fly

    I remeber my nig Fransisco sliding me the reasonable doubt tape back in 1996 and being blown the fukk away. Ti this day “Regrets’ is my favorite Jigga song. I look foward in seeing how the album was made. This is prolly the best feature yall got, keep it up.

  • gees dat dude

    the is the realest nigga ever reasonable doubt the the best fucking rap album of my generation. i remember every body in the chi was listening to bone, do or die and crucial conflict and i was tellin all my lil niggas to cop that jay. him and nas is like the only niggas that you saw actual growth in. niggas like cam remind me of them 30 year old niggas u see in the club on college night and its like grow up nigga put on a fuckin suit you like fuckin 30 and u still tryin to be like these lil niggas. jay that real he a grown man and fuckin act like it. nigga make classics.

  • kae

    This is what I been wantin’ for a long time. I wanted him to talk about Reasonable Doubt for so long! My favorite song is D’Evils, but to be honest, everytime I listen to that album now, i wondered do this shit that he was talkin’ then, still haunt him now. It’s good to hear him talk about it. ‘Cocaina’ is CORRECT! Pure ‘Shut-tha-fuck-up-and-listen-to-what-he-sayin’ music!

  • http://www.myspace.com/southpeezy Maurice G. Garland

    wow man, ’96, who would have known that year would be so momumental for Hip Hop music…living in it you don’t realize it, you know shit is tight, but looking back now its like damn! ’96 was a great year, great fucking year.

  • http://www.camronistrash.com vS

    Gee still droppin’ a bit of knowledge I see…all those that hate on Jay, y’all don’t really appreciate the growth of him as an artist and a man, he really changed the game…”…crtics might not admit it/ but nobody in rap did it, quite like I did it.” He’s the truth…and Jay definitely got his hustle on, maybe he wasn’t a legendary hustler like ‘Preme or Alpo and them…but he did his thing, long enough to know that God had another plan for him.

  • ant

    ya nigga hov is back!!

  • Shad

    This album was a defining moment in hip-hop history. Although hustling wasn’t an uncommon theme at the time, Jay’s detailed lyrics made him second to none. No disrespect to his sixth album (which is also a classic), but this is his real blueprint. The credibility that the artist had in regards to the album’s subject matter is one of the reasons it has been able to stand the test of time. It’s a diary of sorts that’s filled with so many thoughts and feelings that it is impossible not to believe him. That vivid content, and the fact that the beats and rhymes blend perfectly through the entire album, is why this debut album in unquestionably a masterpiece. When ever I’m asked why Jay-Z is my favorite emcee, the first two words out of my mouth are “Reasonable Doubt”.

  • loc718

    yo jay-z is the best rapper ever i’m sorry 2 say it even over biggie smalls(my other favorite rapper) and tupac (a legend in his own rite) he is the perfect rapper, business man, idol, and role model i’m going 2 hie concert at radio city music hall and like everything he does it will be legendary jay-z best rapper ever brooklyn stand the fuck up r.o.c u bastards

  • DntH8Me

    I Can’t believe it has been this long! I grew up on Hip-Hop and every time I get frustrated with it’s current state this is one album that gives me hope. All I can remember when I first heard the disk, was how the rest of the world wasn’t feelin’ it right away like I was. So much depth so many moments to rewind and listen to again and so many over looked songs. Wow Biggie & Jay-Z on the same track, the content the delivery, the detail perfect from start to finish. Young MC’s take note and realize you Can’t Knock The Hustle!!!!
    Ps. XXL send me all of my issues when I subscribe to 12 months!!!! not like 5 and out.

  • http://xxlmag.com Big Mike

    Damn, ten years and I’m just understanding that line from D’Evils. HOV is far beyond number 1. HOV is in a class all by himself. GOD MC ME J-HOVA.

  • Chase Smith

    One thing I do know is that “Reasonable Doubt” shouldn’t be mentioned without talking about “Aint No Ni**a” because that was classic. Thats when he introduced a girl from Brooklyn and the whole Bonnie & Clyde thing started. History.

  • DW85

    I gotta to cop this issue,man. RD is true hip-hop masterpiece. Good Job,XXL.

    >>>>BEST SONG OFF OF REASONABLE DOUBT IS TRACK 13, “BRING IT ON”

    Co-sign and D’evils,too

  • dddd

    actually, i used to think, what is all the hype surrounding reasonable doubt?…i used to hear my cousins talk about it, my friends gloat about it, and even some non hip-hop people talk about how good it was…but i thought, what’s so great…well, when i got the album i fell in love, and to this day, i am still in love…in fact, right now, as we speak, the album is in my car…i play it constantly along with both kanye albums…honestly, i think it’s definitely the best hip-hop album ever…and jay is right…i think that the reason it’s so great is because it sounds like a whole different person…whoa…

  • http://aol.com Robert

    jay z why everybody on this nigga dick hes jus an average rapper

  • NINE

    CAMRON IS SHIT. DAMN STRAIGHT JAY-Z IZ AVERAGE

  • ROBERT KILLA

    Because you’re a menatlly retarded clown. Go learn something.

  • The ON1E

    yeah fo real….camron is da man, he will eat jay,,,pussy ass nigga

  • CAMRUNFRMRUCKER

    ^^^^^
    GET SEROIUS MAN, JAY WILL MURK CAM IN HIS SLEEP…..
    JAY CAN BEAT CAM SLEEP TALKING/RHYMING

  • CAMRUNFRMRUCKER

    Robert Says:

    June 23rd, 2006 at 11:33 pm
    jay z why everybody on this nigga dick hes jus an average rapper
    ^^^^
    HARDLY, JAY HAS SKILLS….

  • CAMRUNFRMRUCKER

    JAY CANT SEE NAS LYRICALLY THOUGH….NAS WILL MURK JAY ON “HIP HOP IS DEAD” JUST WATCH.

  • CAMRUNFRMRUCKER

    HAY ON THE XXL COVER AND HE’S RETIRED…..I’M SURE CAM MUST BE CRYING…COZ HE’S SUPPOSED TOBE THE NEW NY KING AND HE DIDNT GET THE COVER….HAHA THATS FUNNY.

  • CAMRUNFRMRUCKER

    ^^^JAY..NOT HAY MY BAD

  • http://therapup.blogspot.com Rizoh

    Even if “Friend or Foe” was non-fiction, did you think he was going to snitch on himself?

  • http://www.myspace.com/kingmagazine King Magazine

    Can’t wait to get this issue, one of the hottest rappers if not the hottest, dropping jewels in this article about his first child…. can you believe that is only 10years old his child has more names than HOVA himself but we all know that first child as “REASONABL DOUBT” perfect name, perfect mix and blends superb album… lets see how he makes it happen again 10years later from when he first dropped it, to now @Radio City Music Hall. Now you Can’t Knock that Hustle!!!

  • slyrical

    jigga held it down 6summers damn wheres the love ?

  • ReDiCuLouS

    My top 10 albums are: 10.Amerikkk’a Most – Cube’s classic….9.Eminem Show – shit is crazy…8.Adrenaline Rush – Twista’s debut…7.East 1999 Eternal – Bone Thugs debut…6.Doggystyle – Snoop on tha Row…..5.Ready To Die – Big of course…4.Illmatic – Nasir Jones off tha block…3.Chronic/2001 – Tied for 3rd, the good Dr….2.REASONABLE DOUBT – HOV!!!!….1.All Eyez On Me – Pac’s last & best, shit was a double of classics!!!! Jay couldn’t even do that(Blueprint2) lol…what yall think?

  • http://xxlmag.com Big I

    Yo that was real talk coming from Jay. Reasonable doubt is a classic. Fuck Dame Dash he co-signing wit Cam in that bullshit video. Business is NEVER personal. Besides Jay signed Truelife to the Roc. Cam don’t want it Wit Truelife. So whats really good?????

  • CAMRUNFRMRUCKER

    Exclusive: Jay-Z Working on New Album, Says Scott Storch

    Three years after Jay-Z announced that he was retiring, he appears to be stepping back into the game with both feet. According to sources, Jigga has been in the studio with Scott Storch, Kanye West, and Dr. Dre recording new songs. “I’m working with Jay-Z on his new album,” Scott Storch recently told ROLLING STONE. “[It’s] the first time we ever really worked together. We got some fire.”

  • http://xxlmag.com hip hop head

    Bottomline Jay-z is the greatest mc of all time, not to say that his flow is tighter than biggies, but it comes down to longevity, consistency, and a great mind for business. HE DOESNT WRITE ANYTHING. Watch fade to black if you doubt Jay all you haters dickridin cam knows damn well dipset dont want it with jay. Quote me on this dame dash had a show called ultimate hustler but in the end he got hustled by jay just look were kanye at.

  • jrock

    ayo he was callin nas crib and he didnt even give him his numbers.

  • drigga

    jay-z the real g.o.a.t. killer cam the f.o.a.t.(fakest of all time)this nigga was the hardest when he was wearing pink. better yet when horese and carriage was bumping. now this nigga is staging his own shootings. it funny how real ass nigga change. oh boy! dip set faggot!

  • drigga

    man, i’ll put it like this nigga. god,moms,family and REASONABLE DOUBT. that’s all you need nigga. list that shit about 5 times a day. then go get your hustle up. wheather it be a fucking stand up nigga or a grimmy ass nigga.fuck dame and killer faggot. fake nigga get left holding the bag. chuck your duces man!

  • http://comingsoon Jae-Benny

    Reasonable Doubt still a dope album. I listen to it even today as if it just came out. I am a song writer and I express myself through my rhyms (R&B or Rap),I understand why Jay would want it to himself. Sometime when you write about true stuff in your life, you become possesive and in this case the album changed his life. Yes Dam and them were with him but they don’t know what really got him to write those songs. Jay did open up to the world in this album. He understood that the game wasn’t the best hustle and that there was something better. He express his feeling in this album. When you listen to this album, try to get the bigger picture, not just what he is saying. He knew where he was and where he wanted to go. ( The Carter Adminitration, LOL ). That was the shit Jay was going through at that time. The nigga been real since Reasonable Doubt hommie. I think he’s got his hustle game on point. He thinks through shit before making any moves. Do your thing hommie, they may not like it or you because your stacks look right.
    I rather spend 10 munites with you than spend it with Mr. Trump right now. You moved from white Tee to white coller. you understand the sruggle that brothers go through in the project.
    It’s you tape regardless what they say.

    From Edmonton,Alberta, Canada

  • Chris Villain

    Jay-z is Indeed The Greatest Rapper/MC Of All Time……Biggie smalls lacked the longevity to be the greatest and plus jay was more lyrically inclined that=n biggie and the flows was sick…..

  • daesonesb

    9.Eminem Show – shit is crazy…

    You are trippin the fuck out on that’n.
    Slim Shady LP and MM LP are both better than that shit.
    Coverin aerosmith songs, singin about his daughter, that album might make a top twenty at best.

  • mr agee

    this nigga inspires me to attempt a shot at music. i have been made fun at the fact that i try to be like this dude cause i do not write my rhymes. but at one time i did. after 5 years i got to that point where i get a subject and a beat and run with it. but at times i get discouraged cause i have to juggle my full time job. plus im in my late 20s so in figure.

  • http://yahoo.com kenny

    this my second favorite rapper even though he dissed my man pac and both inspire me a lot and im glad the rap game has people like you and had tupac

  • ark-o

    I don’t really know what’s all the fussin for about the “Ain’t no nigga” thing. There are much better track than this one on the “Reasonable Doubt”. My favourites are “Can I Live”, “Bring it on” and “Regrets”! The last one is DOPE! When something goes wrong I put the shit on… and just “…try to learn how to live with regrets…”

  • http://yahoo.com black

    I THIN YOU ARE AN OVER RATED RAPPER AND YOU KNOW TUPAC WAS BETTER THAN B.I.G AND JADAKISS IS BETTER THAN YOU AND IF YOU WERE TO SUBTRACT ALL OF BIGGIES LYRICS FOR YOUR SONG YOU WOULD NOT BE WHO YOU ARE TODAY

  • mr agee

    correction. so go figure.

  • drigga

    nas is cool but jay has been doing it for summers after summers. this dude is above and beyond. lay out the resumes of both cats. please no contest man. “the takeover” long live the king of ny. nas might be that younger brother waiting for the king to die. like mufasa and scar. don’t get me wrong nas is a king in his own rights. but he better tighten up. because my man papoose might be nipping at his heels real soon. there is always a nice,new,hot cat waiting to prove he got it. “A-Z” that shit was hot. my cd player is still smoking from that. man back to the king. “what more can i say?” “can we get encore?”

  • SAY SOMETHING

    all you guys are clowns riding JAY everything BIGGIE did he claimed to do BIGGIE wrote in his head now jay writes in his head BIG had faith jay got beyonnce Big had lil kim Jay had foxxy this dude is a clown at best and you dumb fukks who dont thinking stealing counts for something you dont know what RAP is about

  • http://www.ananzi.co.za PHONY YAYO

    ITZ NOT EVERIDAY I GIV U PROPS ELLIOT…BIG UP!

    GGGGGGGGGGGGG-UNOT

  • EastCoastNiccah

    jay is one of the best to ever do it

  • CAMRUNFRMRUCKER

    Dipset Affiliates Roc-a-Fake “Chain” to Push Records
    Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait… They almost had me 100% convinced at first, but taking a good look at Tru Life’s chain, I think it’s time for these pink and purple clowns to be sent to jail for fraud.

    Let’s clear something up — fast. This is what I HEARD, and this is what “they” SENT.

    So how did Purple City’s Sheist Bub get a hold of “Tru Life’s” chain? We all know Jenny “Jim” Jones is too much of a front to pull off something so bold. The most he could’ve done was coerce one of his pink panthers into doing it, and he did. The story (emphasis) went like this: Tru wasn’t watching his back as he was exiting the studio sometime last week, and one of the Dipset affiliates was waiting for him.

    Now would be when the focus turns away from the lyrical aspect of beef, and more towards the I’m-gonna-do-you-in-for-this side of it. Yeah, Jimmy had already challenged him to a knuckle-up (which further emphasized his lack of skill in rhyming), but who really took him serious? Nobody. So since his little silly ass offer was ignored, he got his feelings hurt. ‘Dito.

    If this is his chain… Tru, come on man. All that talk, and you ain’t watching your back? All that jibber-jabber at The Roxy, and you think cats ain’t trying to catch you slippin’? You know there’s always a rat at every studio. There’s always that dude from Uptown peeking around the corner at you on that sheisty business, binoculars in his left, Nextel in his right.

    Not that it’s all that serious, but it’s funny how I was one of the firsts ever to touch up on this Tru Life drama, who cats was sayin’ was a nobody, now all of a sudden this one is talking about him and the swagger jacker next door.

    Anyways, it’s crossed my mind that maybe this isn’t his chain, old pic, whateva. Some might say it’s a publicity stunt, a chain from the jewlery shop, all very valid possibilities, but why would they go cop one and front it? Nah — don’t think so. But regardless, someone’s ‘bout to get their ass whupped. Hopefully, it doesn’t go any further than that.

    Oh yeah and by the way, take a good look at Tru’s chain and the one Sheist is profiling doesn’t really look too much like the real thing. I guess this is another attempt to sell records… Cam, give the sales boosting attempt a REST, you’re FINISHED. It’s obvious that Jim is coming out with an album soon. And Purple City will never sell records regardless, so they should stay out of it.

    Okay I’ll admit… they got me at first.

  • CAMRUNFRMRUCKER

    TELL CAM…L.E.S LOOKIN FOR HIS BITCH ASS…

  • btherealist

    This man is the g.o.a.t and xxl show it once again. Jigga show how much Dame is a spitful person to not let him have the right to reasonable doubt this is that man’s best work ever and u goin hold that from him jay keep doin ya thing you the king!

  • chris

    reasonable doubt is a hip-hop classic. “can’t knock the hustle” is one of my favorites

  • MoneyMakin’Mitch

    Jay the best 2 ever do it. Pac was hot Rediculous, but All Eyez On me wasn’t even his dopest record. Me Against The World, Makaveli, Strictly S My Niggaz, then All Eyez On Me. 4 the record Politic As Usual and Can I Live r a tie for the dopest joints on Reasonable Doubt. Can I Live 2 was crazy too:”I get my plot on and my drop on wit’ the right arm/I’m even bumpin’ those that hate me, I got ‘Pac on/Feelin’ it, chickens r ice-grillin’ it/Cops pullin’ it over, Jigga reacts militant…”

  • ddd

    I c all the jay-z meatsuckers r in vintage form.its all about killa cam.by the way rakim is the g.o.a.t.

  • http://xxl Emoney

    Hova is always gonna hold it down, it’s true about this album, cause I had vloume 2 before anything and, when I was really put on to hova and went back to get Reasonable Doubt everything I was listening to got put on the back burner, man that shit is in my cd changer right now man, I can’t wait till he drops another album. One luv Hova, keep it movin up, sky’s the limit, when you come from the street to bein a performer to bein the president of Deff Jam. Be about it don’t talk about it………..

  • MAN LISTEN

    Maaaaaannnnn FUCK YOU!!!!!!!

  • albany, n.y hero

    cam is trash dont make sense “yo whats the difeerence between jay-z and cameron….about 6-7 hundred million cock sucker beat it” roflmao

  • hata b

    yo to the lil dude that says “camron is better….purple haze is da bomb”…im only 20 and i know how wrong u are for that. you must be like 11, right? the two are not even in the same league. camron is like that lil dude on the block that is so gassed that he will talk shit to whoever, what he doesnt realize is that a REAL man like jay aint keepin quiet cuz he scared, its cuz hes just lauging at cams naivety. cam comes with one supposedly “hot” dis and people act like this is somehow supposed to concern hov. it aint even on his radar. and BELIEVE ME if jay does come at cam its gonna be much more real than some shit about his choice of footwear.

  • hata b

    oh yeah and didnt you all hear him when he said “…i say a big verse, im only biggin up my brotha.” so give the biter shit a rest. jay himself is easily one of the most ripped off rappers in history.

  • ddd

    wht does that hav 2 do wit music.@albany.ur dumb.btw jus bcuz ur 2 stupid 2 understand killa,it doesent maKE HIM whack.i can tell by ur response u dont kno shit about hiphiop

  • Marcelis

    Its amazing how i was coming out of 5th grade and i was like 10 goin on 11, me and my peeps was settin the summer off by goin to the movies to see “The Nutty Professor”. This is when THE BOX still popped off and they had the buy one video get one free for the movie’s soundtrack… It was Case’s “touch me, tease me” then you got “ain’t no nigga” for free. i use to crave to see the case Vid (Too Young to order it myself) just to see Jay vid. I copped the soundtrack just for the song then found out his LP dropped. I swear to this day i never put that CD down. i still got the Orignal with the Martini olives over the “Y” and the Pic of the Gun on the disc….you can’t find that CD nowhere!!! trust me i tried to get a copy for a collection, i might as well just take care the one i have (thank GOD for Ipods)….and to think i was only 10 goin on 11…now i’m 20 goin on 21 and still a “Diciple” (More than a Fan)….96 was a good summer…i still remember niggas ridin down the ave blasting “Brooklyn’s Finest”. that was like the anthem…who knew I would be following this man’s career thru out most of my adolescent years….this might sound alil crazy, but those LPs pretty much school me to life…. if not raised me…..

  • Lexi Mills

    Gat damn it’s disgusting…all these jay z male ho’s. Get your heads outta your a*ses and fast forward to 2006. You’ve had 10 years to digest Reasonable Doubt. Just in case you hadn’t noticed there are a lot more new and improved artists that are worthy of your respect and admiration that can and will eat Mr. Jiggedy Jay Z’s a*s….no homo…..and in all rappin categories. I ain’t a hater I’m a lover of good hip hop with an objective opinion…..but a typical jay z fan…..damn that’s someone in denial. I’d be surprised if they even listened to or even knew of another rap artist, cuz if they did they would not say he’s the king. How you gonna call yourself the king of rap, the rapper of rappers. You try tellin that to someone who grew up on Ice Cube or Public Enemy and they’ll tell you to fcuk off. My point is this…no one person is the greatest….everyones view is gonna be different so in the meantime stop forcing your subjective opinions on people because some of us actually disagree.

  • Mister B

    Jay Been getting hated for a the longest time..without haters you aint nobody…Jay Been there done that and gained his respect…It good to see people recognize his earlier work..

  • Styles

    First they love you then they hate you and then they love you again. That’s Jay and it’s a shame people ahting on him once more when it’s been a decade since he first dropped. All that hustler music is cool because of Jay. After Pac and Big died he was the new face of Gangsta rap and he set the bar higher, too high for these young niggaz to reach. That’s talent, I agree with mtv, he is the best period. Big and Pac were ahead of they time, but Jay in his prime is on the same level as them niggaz. Verse for verse he can compete with them. What make it so bad most these niggaz that say Pac was the best to ever do it or that Big was the best can’t even name one song off of Pac first two cds, let alone spit a verse off the album. They probably know brenda’s baby and that’s it. That’s why when people like that say Jay is garbage or that Jay is over rated I don’t listen to them. I like dude, but facts are facts, Pac and Big left too soon, but you have to accept that. When people talk about the greatest they are going to listen to the music and the fact remains that Jay put out quality music in his prime and you can’t say what if Pac and Big lived and kept recording b/c they didn’t. We just have their old records and the muisc that got cut from albums.

  • Jizzle (MOJO JO JO)

    96′ its been a long time. Jay-Z unquestionably the best rapper ever. Resonable Doubt changed the game, changed hip-hop culture, changed life for many people. Congrats to Jay on his tenth year anniversary of this album. Glad to see he is still around to be recognized for this Classic. Definately one of my favorite albums!

  • daesonesb

    >>>>wht does that hav 2 do wit music.@albany.ur dumb.btw jus bcuz ur 2 stupid 2 understand killa,it doesent maKE HIM whack.i can tell by ur response u dont kno shit about hiphiop

    You know how I know you are a fucking idiot? Because you type things like

    “ur dumb. btw jus bcuzur 2 stupid”
    No one with an IQ above 100 ever wrote some jacked up shit like that.

  • DaddyB

    Cam better than Jay? Get real! The only hot joint he had was Confessions of Fire. Purple Haze should’ve been called Purple Poop, and SDE should’ve been called SDR- Sex Drugs and Retardation! I give Cam props for leading his clan and topping the chart for a minute or two, but he couldn’t touch Jay-Z’s lines in ’96. Besides 3 or 4 tracks, Cam’s Killa Season is more like you went through playing Duck Hunt when you shot from like 10 feet from the TV screen; alotta poppin’, not much droppin’.

  • albany, n.y hero

    >>>>wht does that have to do wit…..

    duke you a clown if you gonna blog make sense, see cam got all his fans talking like him in riddles matter fact no disrespect to the exceptions but if you ain’t over 18 i don’t even want to hear your opinion on hip hop all hov peers put him in top 5. 10 multi platinum albums in 10 years in hip hop is simply unheard of that is why he is the best longevity. 50, wont do it rakim couldn’t ice cube, etc. lil wayne damn sure wont matter of fact ill make it easy for you give me someone who can do 6 years multi platinum in a row. His records don’t listen to themselves

  • AC

    Give Hova his shit

  • GI JOE

    REASONABLE DOUBT IS HANDS DOWN THE BEST RAP ALBUM UP TO DATE.

  • ReDiCuLouS

    Oh shit!!! I forgot Only Built For Cuban Linx by Chef & Tony Starks…THat shit was FI-YAH!!!!! I’d say that album was easily number 4 on the list, before Illmatic. And yeah, Pac’s best album may have been Makaveli…but my FAVORITE is All Eyes On Me…I listened to that for like 5 or 6 years strait, man…Me & Against the World is incredible…but you could catch me bumpin’ “Check Out Time” everyday, leavin’ school and whatnot. Illest track = Only God Can Judge Me….that or that Wu-esque joint with everyone on it…Outlawz, Big Syke..you already know.~

  • ReDiCuLouS

    I said it b4 & I’ll say it again…illest track on Reasonable Doubt is “Bring it On”…Big Jaz knocks dat shit out the ballpark man…whatever nigga, farfignugen. lol~

  • Moises

    WOW! Reasonable Doubt uh? Well I think it was like 94-1995 when I first heard Jay-z and had no idea who he was..My boy had recorded me a tape in the 7th grade with Jay-z and Onyx, Queen Latifah and a bunch of Nas and Wu shit. I was feeling Onyx more lol not going to lie their energy was needed at the time. But Jay-z’s rhymes were always coming ouf my mouth…”I’m too cocky you gotta kill me and even when I’m gone you can still feel me”…I remember in 7th grade just writing that all over my desk lol..Then once I graduated from Junior HS right when I graduated like 2 days or a week earlier Reasonable Doubt dropped I got the tape of course..and copped Nas It was written..I loved Nas but was really frontin on my self that Jay-Z was a bit iller. Fast forward Vol 1 came out and I just fell in love with it..then I began appreciating Resonable Doubt like shit what was I thinking about Nas for. This Jay_z dude is a monster!! When I heard City is mine I just apreciated D’evils and brooklyn’s Finest to a large degree. I started disecting his lyrics..and till this day I’m 24 years old…I listened to reasoable Doubt and 90% of what his saying I started to understand while in HS like 10th and 11th grade..and even college.. like when he says “..I spend Japan yen (Japan monetary value lol ) and attend major events..” “pounds and pence” haha this is all shit alot of street cats had no idea about…like what is this guy saying?? Sprinkles inthe presidential?? ohlord I can keep going..this is a 24 year old spitting this…a dude that dropped out of HS..and here I am a freshman in college just starting to get this..as a 18 yr old. Also people have to understand that Jay-z lusted this life he is in now. He always wanted this life style. Listen to all his rhymes even before Doubt..listen to that freestyle with Big L..he says it…”ain’tno body in this rap shit getting richer than me” lol he meant it.!!

    holla!

  • bkboy

    jay is the best rapper out right now and is one of the best rappers ever.
    i still listen to reasonable doubt

  • Killa Cam

    Jay-Z is one of the weakest selling rapper in history.
    this dude got has 10 albums that sold barely over 20 million,and 5 albums that didn’t go platinum until his bitch ass retired.

    I so glad this dude retired!!!
    We don’t need to be cursed with anymore albums from Bitch ass Jay-Z

  • KINGPEN

    I LOVED Reasonable Doubt !!! When that CD came out,I knew that the game was about to change !! I mean… NOBODY dropped ANYTHING like Feelin’ It (at that time or anything comparable since).He took Seven Min.of Funk & turned it into an even bigger hit than it was originally(Aint No Nigga).As for the B.I.G & Pac comparisons…They shouldn’t be compared to each other in any form b/c they’re ALL great !!!Can’t knock Jigga!!!

  • http://www.xxlmag.com/?p=2631 Nick

    “Jay-Z is one of the weakest selling rapper in history.
    this dude got has 10 albums that sold barely over 20 million”
    … IS THAT ALL? 20 MILLION?? THAT’S DOUBLE PLAT FOR EVERY ALBUM!! WHAT ARE YOU RETARDED? GO BACK TO SUCKIN ON CAM’RONS DICK.

  • T.Is Wifey

    killa who?

  • bud

    ny niggas all garbage fuck ny n the hole east ya r done 4 why do u niggas still try to rap did ya forget the south took over n kicked ya out? stupid ass gay talking ass niggas ny is over finally no more hearing terrible music on the radio about time

  • http://xxlmag.com omegared nyc

    reasonable doubt and the blue print thats it and yea jz has the right to be mad it’s his material thats his music i would be mad to. who shot ya

  • carol taylor evans

    07-23-06
    I’m sorry to say I love Jay-Z, at 50 yrs old, ya I’m into real music like jay and Beyonce, Jay just let them jealous hater ade nigga’s talk about him, while they are talking, he’s study making the money, Cam-ron thought diss records was going to get him some sales, Jay-Z dont have to retired from no music, he’s a jack of all trades. running his company, making music, etc. some people cant walk and chew bubble gum, at the same time. Jay is a master of them all. so please, everyone that’s hating on Jay, get your’s, Jay got his. and making more. I respect him a 100 and 1 percent. us Black folks sure know how to be JJJJealous.
    Carol T

  • http://www.soundclick.com/sdubb S-Dub

    REAL TALK NIGGAS. I LIVED IN THE TOWNS THAT JAY-Z WAS OT IN, AND HE WAS GETTING IT. FOR EXAMPLE ON THE SONG “YA FEELING IT” (95 SOUTH AND POPPION THE HILL AND SHIT/ AND ALL THE TOWNS LIKE CAMBRIDGE THAT I KILL WICH IN) I WAS THERE. SOUTH-N-POPPI AND THE HILL IS IN EASTON AND OF COURSE CAMBRIDGE IS CAMBRIDGE WHICH IS IN MARYLAND (BY THE WAY HARRIETT TUBMAN WAS BORN THERE). DUDE IS THE TRUTH AND I KNOW NIGGAS THAT USE TO HUSTLE WITH HIM LIKE……UMM NO DRY SNITCHING HERE NIGGAS I AIN’T THAT NIGGA EVEN THOUGH JAY SAID HIS NAME BEFORE. I KNOW MORE THAN A COUPLE OF THEM NIGGAS AND THAT NIGGA E (IS NOTHING I WON’T DO). HATE ALL YOU WANT HE THE BEST THAT EVER DONE IT. ALL THAT BIGGIE, PAC WHAT IF SHIT AIN’T EVEN REALIVENT. THEY MADE GOOD MUSIC AND DIED TO EARLY THAT’S BASICALLY ALL YOU CAN SAY. 10 PLATINUM PLUS ALBUMS INFINTE SUMMER BARS JUST AS HOT AS THE TEMPATURES. YOU GOT TO EVOLVE THOUGH SO HATS OFF TO THE NIGGA THAT BECAME A MAN THAT BECAME A FASHION ICON THAT BECAME A ROLE MODEL THAT BECAME A PRESIDENT THAT IS A LIVING LEGEND. THE GAME IS TO BE SOLD NOT TO BE TOLD SO WHAT DID HE DO HE GAVE US THE BLUEPRINT FOR $11.99 HATS OFF TO THAT NIGGA. HOV’S ONLY MISTAKE LETTING BLEEK DROP MORE THAN ONE ALBUM REAL TALK (YOU SHOULD HAVE PUT HIM ON BEHIND THE SCENES. HE WAS ALRIGHT TILL HE WANTED TO BE YOU) ONE LAST THING “REASONABLE DOUBT” IS LIKE THE ROSETTA STONE OF CLASSIC ALBUMS. IF YOU DON’T HAVE THAT HOW CAN YOU DECIPHER ANY OTHER CLASSIC HIP-HOP ALBUM, TO YOU LITTLE YOUNG NIGGAS ALL HIP HOP IS FABRICATED SUM WHAT, WHAT YOU THOUGHT EVER TOM, DICK AND HARRY RAPPER HAD A BODY. OPEN YA PORT HOLES DUM NIGGAS.

  • http://WWW.MYSPACE.COM/BLACKYAYO S-Dub
  • The Chancellor

    S-Dub…that was fuckin brilliant! One Love my nigga….bottom line is that Jay is the best…all the pac fans wont admit it all the big fans wont admit it….but the bottom line is that big did not want jay on life after death because he was afraid he would get outshined and that came from credible producers who worked on that record and they still work in the game to this day….second of all is camron would have to write all fuckin year to come up with a 16 that jay could do in his sleep just like he did D’Evils. third, Jay made 900 large slangin so a street legend he was and never did a bid no nothin…thats damn near fuckin impossible being from NYC. Finally, this next record he’s droppin i really hope will set the record straight, and get these people who doubt jay’s lyrical prowess to wise up and just accept it that he is the greatest alive dead it dont fuckin matter…Shoutout to TRU-Life and Saigon cant wait for the tradition to continue. ROC4LIFE

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    mDCSfkdKjWocIEiBb

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