Thursday, November 14, 2013

Reflection: Jay-Z's 'The Black Album' 10th Anniversary ...

"...when he goes emotional, it’s unbelievable. It’s like he connects to a couple past lives." "Reverse the crash… that whole paragraph. That was like another level…” – Pharrell Williams

A decade ago on this date, November 14, 2003, Jay-Z released the Black Album. Around this time, Jay had moved up the Def Jam business totem, Successfully proceeded with his 40/40 club ventures, Booked a world tour, openly sustained his relationship with then girlfriend (now wife) megastar Beyonce, and several other things. “I’m a business man.. not a businessman..”.
With so much going on and new frontiers awaiting, Mr. Carter announced this would be his final studio album. And you know what… folks believed him (as much as they try to deny it).

I, personally, remember being at Target that evening to get the album. It was surreal listening to it. I just couldn’t believe this was the finale. The production… the lyrics.. the charisma.. Jay gave it all to the tee. The soulfulness behind his words. It was a perfect way to end his rap career. It was from those components, I told myself.. this might actually be it. “…Gracefully bow out…”.
It’s funny that I have such great things to say about this album, but even with being the Hov stan that I am... I have expressed to folks I can’t listen to this one all the way through; I could’ve done without ‘Threat’ and ‘Justify My Thug’. Ironically, even with disliking those tracks, I still know the lyrics to both. It happens that way I guess…

Now 10 years later and 4 solo studio albums after his “final”,
Shawn Carter still remains one of the most relevant and influential names in the Hip Hop culture. I could go on and on about his accomplishments from then to the present but that’s what the various blog posts on here about him are for :-). In celebration of the anniversary, here’s the full album below for your enjoyment. Timeless music. Reminisce and zone out……

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