Vol. 2... Hard Knock Life

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Vol. 2... Hard Knock Life
Studio album by Jay-Z
Released September 29, 1998
Recorded 1998
Genre East Coast hip hop
Length 61:43
Label Roc-A-Fella, Def Jam
Producer Swizz Beatz, DJ Premier, The 45 King, Timbaland, Stevie J, Irv Gotti, Erick Sermon, Kid Capri, Damon Dash, Jermaine Dupri, J-Runnah, Lil' Rob, Darold Trotter, Mahogany Music
Jay-Z chronology
In My Lifetime, Vol. 1
(1997)
Vol. 2... Hard Knock Life
(1998)
Vol. 3... Life and Times of S. Carter
(1999)
Singles from Vol. 2… Hard Knock Life
  1. "Can I Get A..."
    Released: September 1, 1998
  2. "Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem)"
    Released: October 27, 1998
  3. "Money, Cash, Hoes"
    Released: February 23, 1999
  4. "Nigga What, Nigga Who (Originator 99)"
    Released: March 1, 1999
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3.5/5 stars[1]
The A.V. Club (favorable)[2]
Robert Christgau (3-star Honorable Mention)[3]
IGN (8.3/10)[4]
Los Angeles Times 3.5/4 stars[5]
NME (6/10)[6]
Rolling Stone 3.5/5 stars[7]
RapReviews (2/10)[8]
The Source 4.5/5 stars[9]
Yahoo! Music (favorable)[10]
Washington Post (favorable)[11]

Vol. 2... Hard Knock Life is the third studio album by American rapper Jay-Z, released on September 29, 1998, on Roc-A-Fella Records in the United States. The album propelled Jay-Z into superstar status and cemented him as a household name in the post Biggie/Tupac Shakur era of hip hop. It is Jay-Z's best selling album as of 2013 and was certified 5x Platinum by the RIAA in 2000 and won a Grammy Award for Best Rap Album in 1999. The album debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200, selling over 350,000 copies in its first week,[12] and also went to #1 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart, marking the first of nine consecutive chart-topping albums on both charts to date from Jay-Z, excluding collaboration albums. Upon its release, the album received generally mixed to positive reviews from most music critics, while hip hop purists felt his aims to be a crossover success had compromised the quality and complexity of his music.

In the liner notes of the album, Jay-Z gives his thoughts on various tracks. The lyrics to the fast paced "Nigga What, Nigga Who (Originator 99)" are also included.

Background[edit]

Speaking in December 1998 to noted UK urban writer Pete Lewis of the award-winning Blues & Soul, Jay described the background to the album's lyrical themes: "Primarily I see myself as so much more than a rapper. I really believe I'm the voice for a lot of people who don't have that microphone or who can't rap. So I wanted to represent and tell the story of everybody who's been through what I've been through, or knows somebody that has. I also wanted to speak about our lifestyle to people who - though they may live, say, in the suburbs and not be part of that world - still want to know about it and understand it."[13]

Music[edit]

Several tracks on this album feature a rougher sound than the glossier Bad Boy production on In My Lifetime, Vol. 1, most notably the three tracks produced by Ruff Ryders beatmaker Swizz Beatz. With the exception of Stevie J on "Ride or Die," Bad Boy producers play no role in Vol. 2, though Jay-Z enlisted Jermaine Dupri, Timbaland and Irv Gotti for a more pop-oriented sound on three of the albums' singles. This would also be Jay-Z's last album to feature his mentor Big Jaz.

Track listing[edit]

All lyrics written by Shawn "Jay-Z" Carter, and featured rappers. 

No. Title Producer(s) Length
1. "Intro - Hand It Down" (performed by Memphis Bleek) DJ Premier 2:56
2. "Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem)"   The 45 King 3:58
3. "If I Should Die" (featuring Da Ranjahz) Swizz Beatz 4:55
4. "Ride or Die"   Steven "Stevie J" Jordan of The Hitmen 4:48
5. "Nigga What, Nigga Who (Originator 99)" (featuring Amil & Big Jaz) Timbaland 3:53
6. "Money, Cash, Hoes" (featuring DMX) Swizz Beatz 4:46
7. "A Week Ago" (featuring Too $hort) J-Runnah 5:00
8. "Coming of Age (Da Sequel)" (featuring Memphis Bleek) Swizz Beatz 4:21
9. "Can I Get A..." (featuring Ja Rule & Amil) Irv Gotti, Lil Rob 5:09
10. "Paper Chase" (featuring Foxy Brown) Timbaland 4:34
11. "Reservoir Dogs" (featuring The LOX, Beanie Sigel & Sauce Money) Erick Sermon, Darold Trotter*; Rockwilder** 5:19
12. "It's Like That" (featuring Kid Capri & Liz Leite) Kid Capri 3:45
13. "It's Alright" (featuring Memphis Bleek) Damon Dash, Mahogany Music 4:01
14. "Money Ain't a Thang" (featuring Jermaine Dupri) Jermaine Dupri 4:13

* Indicates co-producer
** Ghost produced by Rockwilder

Sample credits[edit]

Intro (Hand It Down)

Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem)

  • "It's a Hard Knock Life" from Annie

A Week Ago

Reservoir Dogs

  • "Theme from Shaft" by Isaac Hayes
  • "24- Carat Black (Theme)" by 24 Carat Black
  • "Know How" by Young MC

It's Like That

It's Alright

Money Ain't a Thang

Chart history[edit]

Chart procession and succession
Preceded by
The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill
by Lauryn Hill
Billboard 200 number-one album
October 17, 1998 – November 20, 1998
Succeeded by
Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie
by Alanis Morissette

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Vol. 2... Hard Knock Life at AllMusic
  2. ^ Rabin, Nathan (2002-03-29). "Jay-Z: Vol. 2... Hard Knock Life | Music | MusicalWork Review". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 2013-07-16. 
  3. ^ "CG: jay-z". Robert Christgau. Retrieved 2013-07-16. 
  4. ^ "Vol. 2...Hard Knock Life - IGN". Music.ign.com. 2003-11-11. Retrieved 2013-07-16. 
  5. ^ Baker, Soren (1998-10-10). "Jay-Z Offers Intense Tales of 'Life' and the Street - Los Angeles Times". Articles.latimes.com. Retrieved 2013-07-16. 
  6. ^ "NME Album Reviews - Volume 2... Hard Knock Life". Nme.Com. 1999-01-18. Retrieved 2013-07-16. 
  7. ^ "The New Rolling Stone Album Guide - Google Boeken". Books.google.com. Retrieved 2013-07-16. 
  8. ^ "Jay-Z :: Vol. 2... Hard Knock Life :: Def Jam". Rapreviews.com. Retrieved 2013-07-16. 
  9. ^ "Music: Vol. 2, Hard Knock Life (CD) by Jay-Z (Artist)". Tower.com. 1998-09-29. Retrieved 2013-07-16. 
  10. ^ [1][dead link]
  11. ^ "Jay-Z's School of `Hard Knock'; He Belabors the Obvious, Disses the Competition. But His Fluid Flow Keeps Him at the Top". Pqasb.pqarchiver.com. 1998-10-28. Retrieved 2013-07-16. 
  12. ^ Reiss, Randy (October 14, 1998). "Jay-Z's New Hard Knock Life Has A Golden Week". 
  13. ^ Lewis, Pete. Jay-Z: A B&S classic interview December 1998, Blues & Soul
  14. ^ Geoff Mayfield (December 25, 1999). 1999 The Year in Music Totally '90s: Diary of a Decade - The listing of Top Pop Albums of the '90s & Hot 100 Singles of the '90s. Billboard. Retrieved October 15, 2010. 

External links[edit]