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Jay-Z's Black Album

The cover art for the "Black Album" is finally online. A-Wood seems to like it. I think it's hella ugly.

Jay promised years ago that the Black album wouldn't have any art at all. Yet this has a poorly done silhouette that looks like he's holding his eyelids open. Wait...those eyes I see are actually his fingers. O...kay, I see...he's pulling his fitted over his face. I still don't like it.

Jay made some other promises about his "last" album. Two he broke already, the other we'll have to wait to see if he keeps it.

Broken promises:
1. No promotion for the album. He said that he would make it, drop it, and bow without caring or catering to what the press thinks. Yet, last week he held an album preview press conference.

2. No distribution for the album. Jay said that this album would not be released commercially. Fans would have to download it, or get it from bootleggers. This was most exciting to me. I imagined there being an uncertainty about the number of tracks, track order, or even songs names. So the dj's would be empowered to make their own mix and the fans would have to collect until the felt they had something complete. It would be the first open source album!

Wait to see promises:
1. This album is supposed to be a prelude to Reasonable Doubt. Yeah, I have my own reasonable doubts about that. He should have scrapped all the guest appearances except for Sauce Money and Jaz-O. Not that would be throwback fire!

UPDATE: Selected review quotes and news by others:
Hiphopmusic.com- "I did quite enjoy my first run-through of The Black Album. Much of it is driven by the lush classic-soul loops that Kanye and Just Blaze have made the new standard, plus a few doses of the obligatory Neptunery."
Platinum-celebs.com- JAY-Z is bringing the curtain down on his glittering hip-hop career with a nationwide tour of America starting in November.
sfj.abstractdynamics.org-Jay-Z's The Dynasty is the wackest album he ever made...meanwhile, The Black Album gets better and better.
Hookers and Blow-We've learned that Jigga may want to develop artists with Steve Stoute, the former Universal Music executive who helped launch his "S. Carter Collection" sneaker line for Reebok, and is planning a black sneaker tied to "The Black Album," Jay's much talked about last CD, due in November.
DJ Spicerack- Needless to say, I wasn't totally impressed with everything the first time I heard some stuff - but it's definitely grown on me as I've been able to listen to the whole thing, getting the whole context. I've heard people saying that this wasn't better than Reasonable Doubt, and that it wasn't better than this or that. Whatever. I think it's a pretty good disc, and has some good variety.

November 3, 2003 in Music | Link Me | Related Searches | Related Music

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» the black album from monique is coffeenated
I found this via Madison, who you should be reading if you aren't already. I'm looking forward to Jay Z's album. As an artist he has mastered the idea of keeping his music in heavy rotation. Releasing a new [Read More]

Tracked on Nov 5, 2003 11:20:10 AM

Holleration

I am actually looking forward to this album. I am almost wondering if J-Hova is going to take the same route as our man Too Short and retire every year.

I just have an obsession with Jay Z. I haven't found an album of his that I didn't like yet. I sing along to all the songs and I know all the lyrics.

If it weren't for Beyonce, he would be my baby daddy. She better be glad I like her.

:o)

Posted by: monique at Nov 5, 2003 10:54:49 AM

sfg.DUDE WHAT U SAYIN THAT THE DYNASTY WAS WACK MAN U NEED 2 POP THAT IN AND TAKE ANOTHER LOOK DAWG. HE'S BEEN BRINGING IT FOR 7 SUMMERS AND WINTERS MAN. " WHEN THE GRASS IS CUT THE SNAKES WILL SHO.."

Posted by: YoungCA at Nov 9, 2003 10:49:50 PM

Jay-Z is the most innovative emcee I have ever heard. His style, performance and lyrical abilities are unmatched. I am not saying he is the best ever, but for the last seven(7) years, he has been the best. Word to the GOD EMCEE

Posted by: swadie at Nov 11, 2003 4:54:47 PM

This is a solid album by Jay. It's not Reasonable Doubt, it's not Blueprint, it's better.

Posted by: Koenig at Nov 12, 2003 7:09:32 PM

Biggie's been dead for 5 years and he is still Jay-Z's biggest inspiration. You can tell by Jay constantly stealing all his rhymes.

Posted by: David at Nov 12, 2003 7:12:44 PM

JAY-Z BLACK ABLUM IS JUST ANOTHER JAY CD IT'S COOL BUT IT HAS TO GROW ON U OTHER THAN THAT IT'S A STREET BANGER

Posted by: D-Block219 at Nov 12, 2003 11:32:53 PM

Well before I say how great an album this is, let me be honest. I am biased. So with that being said...Hov' tied up all his loose ends on the Black Album. I say a BIG verse, I'm only biggin' up my brother ... I'm that thorough plus I know my own flow is foolish.. What more can he say? That answers the he-quotes-BIG-too-many-times-critics. He let's us in on how he really feels about his climb to the top and his struggles to get there, and stay there (which he has). No other emcee can say that they have consistently put out fire, have a successful clothing line (no disrespect Master P, but successful was the operative word in that sentence), have nationwide tours, a successful sports bar, and be at the head of his own label, and executive produce himself. Now back to the album... Encore is a lyrically tight and dare I say it old school like party anthem. Lucifer is off the hook with a west indian influenced Kanye West beat (much better than his last foray into the genre; a collabo with Sean Peal -- dat naw wurk!) I would have to say that the only issue I have with the album is that What more can I say had LAST TRACK all over it... but if song arrangement is my biggest concern then you had better do yourself a favor and add this to your collection. On a scale of Vol. 1 to Reasonable Doubt... I would have ot give this a Blueprint rating. But you know you are hot when all your critics (the ones who really listen anyway) compare you to yourself....its like mike when he was at the tail end of the championship years... he couldn't dunk on you like 86-87 mike could but you better believe he would hit the game winner over the best the league had to offer -- and pose -- and take home the championship. Put them diamonds up... Hov'!

Posted by: Ed at Nov 13, 2003 4:49:30 PM

I think that Jay Z is a very hot rapper and most of the people who have something negative to say are kissing his ass b/c he's in my top 5 list of the hottest rappers. I know that this album will definetly be hot b/c its his last one. He's giving up his crown, he is about to sit back and enjoy life with his boo with all that doe. So yall need to stop hating b/c its nothing to him he still paid and yall cant do nothing about it. Yall just got hate in yall blood so holla @ ya gurl from that det town yeah you kno baby ~1~

Posted by: Jasmine at Nov 14, 2003 8:47:49 AM

I haven't heard the album yet but when I heard about the format I was excited but to tell you the truth ....I haven't been feeling jay since reasonable doubt so I'm gonna get G-units beg for mercy instead

Posted by: Cristos at Nov 14, 2003 12:57:39 PM

i thik jay-z is the best and will always remain the best .the dynasty was definitely his best album not knowin what the black album has in store

Posted by: mfk at Nov 15, 2003 7:02:12 AM

Eh yo, let me tell you, this is mos def. the hottest album he has came out with since vol.1 im a jigga enthusist, my biggest concern in life is battling to see who is bigger biggie jayz or nas. jigga has held it down every year. Bottom line nas used jiggas as a crutch to get his name back, because he was just that nasty. Biggie wouldve fell off, no way can he top his second album, and for eminem who has fell off on solo projects i dun think his verse on renegade was better than hova's simply for the fact that jay layed it down with crazy metaphors, i mean if u are smart u would agree, i like to wrestle with my mind and he does just that makes u think. plus eminem just pushes words together. Black album is the shit this is the definition of solo act. im out one

Posted by: J morgan at Nov 15, 2003 9:47:38 PM

Ain't a rapper alive that can test young hov da king. To hell with all that boring cotradictory Nas. If you are looking for versatility check fa Jay. This guy never comes whack on any track be it murderous hardcore or soft pop. What sense does it make to buss philosophy on a song about love or partying(eh Nas?). I waited for a long time for jigga to slip up but I'm afraid he hasn't. He's simply the greatest!

Posted by: ADEDAKING at Nov 18, 2003 2:49:54 AM

The past three solo albums Jay-Z has put out have shown his maturity and musical growth, and are definitely the best pieces of work he's put out since his debut.
The Black Album is, in my opinion, an oustanding finale to the Jay-Z solo saga. From beginning to end, he gives us one final in-depth look at his life, his struggles, his trumphs and his reflection on his career. You can tell he's looking back and is content with all that's he's accomplished. Songs like December 4th, Encore, Allure and My 1st Song make me wish the album was longer or had some bonus coverage like most of his CDs. Oh well...we can only hope he decides to surprise us with The Return in a few years...

Posted by: Philosophette at Nov 20, 2003 11:27:30 AM

WHATZ GOOD, JAY Z IS ONE OF THE BEST RAPPER OUT.. HE IS BETTER THAN NAS, AND ANY OTHER BOOTLEGGED RAPPER, HE IS THE KING BUT LIKE PEOPLE ALWAYZ SAY PEOPLE GOT DIFFERENT OPINIONS ABOUT OTHERS, BUT ITZ NO GOIN TO BE THE SAME WITHOUT JAYZ SINCE THIS IS HIS LAST ALBUM. BUT ITZ ALL GOOD CAUSE I'M STILL REPIN MA GUY 2 THA FULLEST... MA HUSBAND CURTIZ LOVE JAYZ AND HE WISH ONE DAY THAT HE CAN MEET HIM IN PERSON.. I WISH I CAN MEET HIM 2.. BUT OUR DAY WILL COME.... SO I HOPE JAYZ DO GOOD ON HIS ALBUM

Posted by: T-Babie at Nov 20, 2003 1:24:11 PM

Yes, it is a shame to se JayZ retire but he's doing it for the betterment of himself. What do I mean? Well, he is in his thirties, has a girlfriend, and doesnt want to limit his skillz and all that jazz to one element of the world-music. He has the rest of his whole life to live. . . ya mean? You cant expect sumbody who's music is in heavy rotation like dat to stay on the ball wit hit after hit after hit and not take sum type of break. PLus he compared himself to Micheal Jackson and Jordan. . . and remember what they both did after retiring. Do I see Jay-Z comin back wit his "cant stay away from the game" album???

Posted by: JayZsGurl at Nov 30, 2003 7:19:42 PM

This album was good, but Jay-Z doesn't have that street edge anymore. This album was just another studio made album. It doesn't sound like a classic rap album that could have been written in a school notebook, but rather written on a palm pilot.

Posted by: HaYaDoin at Dec 3, 2003 6:07:40 PM

jayz should not stop rappin

Posted by: Tiffany at Dec 4, 2003 9:02:58 AM

Jay z is the best and the Black Album is off the chain so is the rest of his albums I am his number one fan on his b-day I brought hima birthday cake. So all you hattaz who hate on Jigga "be easy"

Posted by: Nakeia at Dec 10, 2003 10:11:44 AM

Since i was 10 years old, Jay-z inspired me very much..his voice, style, videoclips(esspecially Big Pimpin) and his crew ofcourse.R.O.C.
It kinda freaked me out when i heard that Jigga is giving up his rap performances en stuff...But deep in my heart i feel that he will comeback with a better song or CD.Let's hope so...Anyway..He is the best..No Doubt!
I'm Out...

Posted by: DJ Lycious at Dec 13, 2003 2:09:04 PM

i'm 14 years old and i feel dat i have found love everytime i see jayz i get all tingly i love him so much his lips are mint wud love to meet him 1 day to tell him how much i love him.this is for jayz x x x x xx x

Posted by: terri at Dec 23, 2003 9:09:17 AM

Too many opinions and comments. It's like an overshare to me. Put it this way and this way only:

Shawn Carter is the man...period.

Posted by: Amirah Abdur-Salaam at Jan 7, 2004 1:24:27 PM

It's a great album! By the way, I linked my blog to this site @ http://johnniek.blogspot.com . Let me know if you want it taken off. Peace.

Posted by: J K at Jan 18, 2004 11:24:40 AM

jay-z is not retiring hell be back in 2 years through is s.carter label

Posted by: jay at Jan 25, 2004 1:16:52 PM

hello everybody!

I'm one of Jayz's biggest fans.
My opinion about the black album is that Jigga man has more skills than any other rapper. Since 1996 with reasonnable doubt, his first album, he always made songs with good lyrics, any kind of music styles (with Dré, the Neptune, Timberland, Just blaze or Kayne West and DJ Clue, etc.)
He is the best rapper ever known after Biggie and 2pac. He's better than Nas, Eminem (even on Renegade lyrics), and the others...
Now I don't know exactely if i'll still listen Rap music without him.

Just one more thing: Hov, don't leave US Rap!!!

Posted by: JM Sabin at Feb 6, 2004 3:55:08 PM

The rap metaphors Hov builds is better then other. He has natural god given talent similar to biggie. He's the best most consistant rapper ever!

Posted by: jason at Feb 16, 2004 12:26:30 PM