The Black Album

Jay-Z - The Black Album
Critic Score
Based on 10 reviews
2003 Ratings: #80 / 293
User Score
Based on 706 ratings
2003 Ratings: #10
Liked by 33 people
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CRITIC REVIEWS

90
AllMusic

If The Black Album is Jay-Z's last, as he publicly stated it will be, it illustrates an artist going out in top form.

83
Entertainment Weekly
The confession, while clever, is ultimately a drag. The fact is, Jay-Z has always been in it for the money. Though he has mastered the grit and detail of the crime story, he hasn’t demonstrated ambitions to do anything else.
80
Pitchfork

The prospect of hip-hop's finest producers laying down tracks for the final LP from the rap world's brightest talent has made The Black Album one of the most anticipated rap records of the decade. What's stunning is that it delivers rap's greatest career-ender since Outkast's Stankonia.

80
NME
How good is this album? Well, a lot better than the bloated ‘Blueprint 2’, for a start. ‘The Black Album’ is Jay-Z in the optimum form of 2001’s ‘The Blueprint’, just as he has been all year on his guest verses for Beyonce, Outkast, Pharrell and Panjabi MCs.
80
Tiny Mix Tapes
The production is extremely strong, pulling famous names like The Neptunes and Timbaland into the mix. And with the strength of a gifted emcee, the complete package is another musical achievement from possibly the most successful emcee in modern day hip-hop.
80
Rolling Stone

Given one last chance to make an impact, Jay-Z has come up with one of the better albums of his career, though perhaps a shade lesser than his very best, Reasonable Doubt and The Blueprint.

60
NOW Magazine

The Black Album is a solid record but not a career highlight by any stretch, and not exactly a grand farewell.

40
The Guardian
Despite innumerable producers (including usual suspects Timbaland and the Neptunes), there's little here tune-wise to match Jay's dextrous delivery and enormous reputation. The brilliant exception is the Eminem-twiddled Moment of Clarity, in which Jay candidly admits "I dumbed down for my audience to double my dollars." If that's how he feels, he's getting out at the right time.
KIDWITHGUNs
88

Fantano gave this a low score

Y'know

Coz he's racist

koner1
60

Jay Z? More like Ja- *zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz*

CameronFriezer
96

Favourite: 99 Problems
Worst: (invalid)

1. December 4Th - 10
2. What More Can I Say - 9.5
3. Encore - 10
4. Change Clothes - 9
5. Dirt Off Your Shoulder - 10
6. Threat - 9
7. Moment of Clarity - 10
8. 99 Problems - 10
9. Interlude - 10
10. Justify My Thug - 9
11. Lucifer - 10
12. Allure - 9
13. My 1st Song - 9

Average: 9.576
Quick Comment: My personal favourite Hip Hop album of all time

SirOti
93

All-round solid album with very high replay value. One of the best Jay-z albums.

justchilling21
80

This stuff is very good. Best song is 99 Problems.

EthanW
80

At first, I wasn't really digging this album at all. It was slow and filled with kinda boring, expected, braggadocious lyrics. The bragging didn't go away, but the album started to pick up pace towards the end. I think overall, the production improved the further you got into this project. The lyricism sort of improved, but by 'My 1st Song' the delivery was amazing. I also started enjoying the songs more and more, it took me a minute to get to a place where I could understand this from an '03 ... read more

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Track List

  1. Interlude
  2. December 4Th
  3. What More Can I Say
  4. Encore
  5. Change Clothes
  6. Dirt Off Your Shoulder
  7. Threat
  8. Moment of Clarity
  9. 99 Problems
  10. Interlude
  11. Justify My Thug
  12. Lucifer
  13. Allure
  14. My 1st Song

Year End Lists

#6/SPIN
#17/Pitchfork
#34/NME
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