This article is within the scope of WikiProject Albums, an attempt at building a useful resource on recordings from a variety of genres. If you would like to participate, visit the project page, where you can join the project and/or contribute to the discussion.
This article is within the scope of WikiProject Hip hop, a collaborative effort to build a useful resource for and improve the coverage of hip hop on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, visit the project page, where you can join the project and/or contribute to the discussion.
In My Lifetime, Vol. 1 (Roc-A-Fella) (star) (star) (star). Like his fashion-conscious and mafia-influenced rhyme-spitting peers, Jay-Z goes after a commercial audience on his most recent album. Unlike them, however, the Brooklyn rapper's lyrics contain a finesse and insight few can articulate as succinctly. "Streets Is Watching" expertly dissects and analyzes the hustle and stress of illegal life. His use of pop producers Teddy Riley and Sean "Puffy" Combs will alienate listeners, even as Jay-Z establishes himself as that rare underground rhymer with commercial appeal.
RAP: Jay-Z, In My Lifetime, Vol. 1 (# # #) -- The Brooklynite follows last year's gold debut Reasonable Doubt with a rock-solid set with both street and pop appeal. First single (Always Be My) Sunshine, featuring Babyface and Foxy Brown, falls into the latter category. So does I Know What Girls Like with Puff Daddy and Lil' Kim. Jay-Z takes a cynical view of some boastful colleagues on Imaginary Player and puts a sharp edge on Streets Is Watching. He's off track with tepid entries like Lucky Me but easily redeems himself with the album-closing You Must Love Me.