The Black Album (Jay-Z album)
|The Black Album|
|Studio album by Jay-Z|
|Released||November 14, 2003|
|Label||Roc-A-Fella, Def Jam|
|Producer||Jay-Z (exec.), Damon Dash (exec.), Kareem "Biggs" Burke (exec.), Just Blaze, Kanye West, The Neptunes, Timbaland, 9th Wonder, Eminem, Rick Rubin, The Buchanans, DJ Quik, Luis Resto, Aqua, Joseph Weinberger|
|Singles from The Black Album|
The Black Album is the eighth studio album by American rapper Jay-Z, released November 14, 2003, on Roc-A-Fella Records. It was promoted as his final studio album, which serves as a recurring theme, although Jay-Z returned to solo recording with Kingdom Come in 2006.
The album debuted at number 1 on the Billboard 200 chart, selling 463,000 copies in its first week. The Black Album has sold 3,516,000 original copies in the United States as of July 2013. It produced three singles that attained Billboard chart success, including Hot 100 top-ten hits "Change Clothes" and "Dirt Off Your Shoulder".
Upon its release, The Black Album received acclaim from music critics. It was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Rap Album at the 47th Grammy Awards, ultimately losing to Kanye West's The College Dropout. The album was ranked #349 in Rolling Stone's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.
Release and promotion
Jay-Z said the album would have a different producer for each track, and early magazine advertisements listed a series of numbers (representing tracks) and a producer for each number. Dr. Dre and DJ Premier were originally supposed to be among these producers however did not make the final cut. The final album did feature a variety of producers, although Roc-A-Fella producers Kanye West and Just Blaze produced two tracks each, in addition to the two produced by frequent Jay-Z collaborators The Neptunes.
An a cappella version of the album was released to provide material for remixes and mashups. Such albums included Kev Brown's, The Brown Album, Kno vs. HOV by Kno of CunninLynguists. These were followed by Danger Mouse's The Grey Album. The latter gained attention due to unauthorized use of samples of songs by The Beatles. Subsequent remixes have mashed-up the a capellas with Prince (The Purple Album) and Dr. Dre (The Black Chronic). Further mashups have been created using the music of alternative bands Pavement ("The Slack Album") and Weezer ("The Black and Blue Album").
The only officially released remix album is Collision Course, Jay-Z's collaboration with Linkin Park. It was produced by Mike Shinoda and included a DVD featuring the two acts performing together.
The Black Album received acclaim from contemporary music critics; it holds an aggregate score of 84 out 100 at Metacritic. According to The Rolling Stone Album Guide (2004), The Black Album is "old-school and utterly modern", as it showed Jay-Z "at the top of his game, able to reinvent himself as a rap classicist at the right time, as if to cement his place in hip-hop's legacy for generations to come". Steve Jones of USA Today stated, "He enlisted beats from an all-star cast of producers, who come through with top-shelf work. But it's Jigga's trademark lyrical dexterity and diversified deliveries that put him on a level all his own." Dave Simpson of The Guardian was less enthusiastic and dismissed the music as "an aural equivalent of that old American favourite, the schmaltzy biopic." In his consumer guide for The Village Voice, Robert Christgau gave the album a three-star honorable mention, indicating "an enjoyable effort consumers attuned to its overriding aesthetic or individual vision may well treasure." He cited "99 Problems" and "My 1st Song" as highlights and quipped, "Raps like a legend in his own time—namely, Elvis in Vegas". In a retrospective review, Christgau gave the album an "A", noted how each track benefits from different producers, and wrote of its legacy:
History has vindicated this album. On a meticulously hyped valedictory no one believed would be his actual farewell, the fanfares, ovations, maternal reminiscences, and vamp-till-ready shout-outs were overblown at best. But on an album where the biggest rapper of all time announces that he's the biggest rapper of all time, they're prophetic. Bitch about Kingdom Come and American Gangster if you must, but not The Blueprint 3 or Watch the Throne, and not his label presidency, amassed fortune, or close personal relationship with Warren Buffett. He's got a right to celebrate his autobiography in rhyme because he's on track to become a personage who dwarfs any mere rapper, and not only can he hire the best help dark green can buy, he can make it sing.
Pitchfork Media ranked The Black Album at number 90 on its list of the top 200 albums of the 2000s, and Slant Magazine ranked it number 7 on its list of the Top 100 Albums of the 2000s. According to Billboard, the album is Jay-Z's top selling album of the 2000s and the 136th highest selling album of the decade in the United States. In 2012 Complex named the album one of the classic albums of the last decade.
|2||"December 4th"||Just Blaze||
|3||"What More Can I Say"||The Buchanans||4:55|
|5||"Change Clothes" (featuring Pharrell)||The Neptunes||4:18|
|6||"Dirt Off Your Shoulder"||Timbaland||4:05|
|8||"Moment of Clarity"||Eminem, Luis Resto (co)||4:24|
|9||"99 Problems"||Rick Rubin||3:55|
|10||"Public Service Announcement (Interlude)"||Just Blaze||
|11||"Justify My Thug"||DJ Quik||4:05|
|14||"My 1st Song"||Aqua, Joe "3H" Weinberger||4:45|
|U.S. Billboard 200||1|
|U.S. Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums||1|
|U.S. Top Rap Albums||1 |
Shock'n Y'all by Toby Keith
|Billboard 200 number-one album (First Run)
November 23, 2003 – November 29, 2003
In the Zone by Britney Spears
In the Zone by Britney Spears
|Billboard 200 number-one album (Second Run)
December 7, 2003 – December 13, 2003
The Diary of Alicia Keys by Alicia Keys
- Executive Producers: Shawn Carter, Damon Dash, Kareem "Biggs" Burke
- A&R Direction: Kyambo "Hip Hop" Joshua
- A&R: Lenny S.
- A&R Direction/Join Venture: Darcell Lawrence
- A&R Administration: Rob Mitchell
- Recording Administration: Rob Mitchell
- Mastering: Tony Dawsey
- Marketing: Shari Bryant, Amber Noble
- Management: Roc-A-Fella Management
- Art Direction & Design: Robert Sims
- Principal Photography: Jonathan Mannion
- Additional Photography: Lenny "kodak man" Santiago, Walik Goshorn
- Legal Counsel: Michael Guido, Jennifer Justice
- Business Affairs for Roc-A-Fella Records: Michael Seltzer, Ian Allen, Antoinette Trotman, Jeff Kempler
- Sample Clearance Agent: Eric Weissman
- Danger Mouse – The Grey Album (2004)
- List of number-one albums of 2003 (U.S.)
- List of number-one R&B albums of 2003 (U.S.)
- Touré. Review: The Black Album. Rolling Stone. Retrieved on 2009-10-02.
- "Back In 'Black': Jay-Z Swan Song Bows On Top". Billboard. Retrieved July 12, 2013.
- Paine, Jake. "Hip Hop Album Sales: The Week Ending 7/7/2013". HipHop DX. Retrieved July 12, 2013.
- Grammy Award Nominees. Retrieved on 2011.05.10.
- Grammy Award Winners. Retrieved on 2011.05.10.
- 500 Greatest Albums of All Time: Jay-Z, 'The Black Album' | Rolling Stone
- "Jay-Z, The Black Album (2003) — 25 Rap Albums From the Past Decade That Deserve Classic Status". Complex. Retrieved 8 December 2012.
- Remixers Turn Jay-Z's Black Album Grey, White And Brown - Music, Celebrity, Artist News | MTV.com
- Bush, John. Review: The Black Album. Allmusic. Retrieved on 2009-10-02.
- Christgau, Robert (September 9, 2011). "Jay-Z". MSN Music. Microsoft. Retrieved September 15, 2011.
- Drumming, Neil. Review: The Black Album. Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved on 2009-10-02.
- The Guardian review
- Mojo (London): 104. January 2004.
- Columnist. "Review: The Black Album". NME: November 22, 2003. (Transcription of original review at talk page)
- Staff. Review: The Black Album. Pitchfork Media. Retrieved on 2009-10-02.
- Jones, Steve. Review: The Black Album. USA Today. Retrieved on 2009-10-02.
- Editors, The. "Review: The Black Album". Vibe: 120. January 2004.
- The Black Album (2003): Reviews. Metacritic. Retrieved on 2009-10-02.
- Hoard, Christian. "Review: The Black Album". Rolling Stone: 424–425. November 2, 2004.
- Christgau, Robert (January 13, 2004). "Consumer Guide". The Village Voice (New York: Village Voice Media). Retrieved 2012-08-26.
- Christgau, Robert (2000). "Key to Icons". Robert Christgau. Retrieved 2012-08-26.
- Pitchfork staff (September 30, 2009). "The Top 200 Albums of the 2000s: 100–51". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved October 1, 2009.
- Slant staff (February 1, 2010). "The Top 100 Albums of the 2000s: 10–1". Slant Magazine. Retrieved March 21, 2010.
- Decade-end Charts. Billboard. Retrieved on 2010-05-29.
- "Jay-Z 'Decoded'", Fresh Air interview transcript, November 16, 2010. Song title is Jay-Z's birthday; his mother speaks on the track about his birth; recorded on her birthday, September 17. Retrieved 2010-11-16.
- Rap Albums : Dec 09, 2006 | Billboard Chart Archive
- The Black Album at Discogs
- In Brief: Jay-Z at New York
- Jay-Z Raps On the Fly Like a Man Set to Die at New York Times