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.), Kanye West, Just Blaze, The Neptunes, Timbaland, Eminem, Rick Rubin, The Buchanans, 9th Wonder, Luis Resto, Aqua, Joseph Weinberger, DJ Quik|
|Singles from The Black Album|
The Black Album is the eighth studio album by American rapper Jay-Z, released on November 14, 2003, by 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.
Jay-Z had announced that The Black Album would be his final album. He went on a retirement tour following the release of the album, but he later came out with releases of various songs and collaborations.
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, they 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.
|The Rolling Stone Album Guide|||
The Black Album received widespread acclaim from music critics; it holds an aggregate score of 84 out 100 at Metacritic. Mojo magazine called it "magnificent", while Vibe said "it's monumental because it's a culmination of Jigga's natural thoughtfulness delivered with transcendent skill.". AllMusic's John Bush stated, "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", while "Steve Jones of USA Today believed that even with "top-shelf work" from elite producers, "it's Jigga's trademark lyrical dexterity and diversified deliveries that put him on a level all his own." Q was also impressed by Jay-Z's boastful raps: "He excels at flashy cadences and unexpected turns of phrase." In a review for The A.V. Club, Nathan Rabin said Jay-Z returns to "brevity and consistency" on an album that demonstrates his lyrical abilities and, more importantly, hip hop's best producers. Jon Caramanica wrote in The Rolling Stone Album Guide (2004) that The Black Album is "old-school and utterly modern", as it shows 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".
In a less enthusiastic review for Rolling Stone, journalist Touré felt The Black Album is slightly inferior to Jay-Z's best records, namely Reasonable Doubt (1996) and The Blueprint (2001). Dave Simpson of The Guardian was more critical and dismissed the music as "an aural equivalent of that old American favourite, the schmaltzy biopic." Robert Christgau of The Village Voice gave the album an "honorable mention", citing "99 Problems" and "My 1st Song" as highlights and writing that Jay-Z "raps like a legend in his own time—namely, Elvis in Vegas". He was more impressed in a retrospective review, particularly by the stretch of songs from "Encore" to "Justify My Thug", and said that although "the fanfares, ovations, maternal reminiscences, and vamp-till-ready shout-outs were overblown at best", they now sound "prophetic" because of the entrepreneurial success and fame Jay-Z continued to achieve after The Black Album: "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||4:32|
|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||2:53|
|11.||"Justify My Thug"||DJ Quik||4:05|
|14.||"My 1st Song"||Aqua, Joe "3H" Weinberger||4:45|
- "December 4th" contains a sample of "That's How Long" by The Chi-Lites.
- "What More Can I Say" contains a sample of "Something for Nothing" by MFSB and "Keep Your Hands High" by Tracey Lee featuring The Notorious B.I.G..
- "Encore" contains a sample of "I Will" by John Holt.
- "Threat" contains a sample of "A Woman's Threat" by R. Kelly.
- "99 Problems" contains samples of "Long Red" by Mountain, "Get Me Back on Time, Engine Number 9" by Wilson Pickett, "The Big Beat" by Billy Squier, "99 Problems" by Ice-T, "Touched" by UGK and "Children's Story" by Slick Rick.
- "Public Service Announcement (Interlude)" contains samples of "No One Can Do It Better" by The D.O.C. and "Seed of Love" by Little Boy Blues.
- "Justify My Thug" contains samples of "Rock Around the Clock" by Bill Haley & His Comets, "Rock Box" as performed by Run DMC and "Justify My Love" by Madonna.
- "Lucifer" contains a sample of "Chase the Devil" by Max Romeo.
- "My 1st Song" contains a sample of "Tu y Tu Mirar...Yo y Mi Canción" by Los Angeles Negros.
|U.S. Billboard 200||1|
|U.S. Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums||1|
|U.S. Top Rap Albums||1|
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|Billboard 200 number-one album (First Run)
November 23, 2003 – November 29, 2003
In the Zone by Britney Spears
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|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 at the Wayback Machine (archived April 1, 2009). 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
- Toure. Superstardom is Boring: Jay-Z Quits Again. New York Times, 2003, p. AR33.
- "Jay-Z, The Black Album (2003) — 25 Rap Albums From the Past Decade That Deserve Classic Status". Complex. Retrieved 8 December 2012.
- 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.
- Caramanica, Jon (2004) "Jay-Z". In Christian Hoard (ed.). The Rolling Stone Album Guide: 424–425.
- Jones, Steve. Review: The Black Album. USA Today. Retrieved on 2009-10-02.
- The Black Album (2003): Reviews. Metacritic. Retrieved on 2009-10-02.
- "Review: The College Dropout". Mojo (London): 102. May 2004.
- Editors, The. "Review: The Black Album". Vibe: 120. January 2004.
- Q (London) (January): 108. 2004. Missing or empty
- The A.V. Club review
- Christgau, Robert (January 13, 2004). "Consumer Guide". The Village Voice (New York: Village Voice Media). 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.
- 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