Vol. 2... Hard Knock Life
|Vol. 2... Hard Knock Life|
|Studio album by Jay-Z|
|Released||September 29, 1998|
|Label||Roc-A-Fella, Def Jam|
|Producer||Jay Z (Executive) , Kareem "Biggs" Burke (Executive) , Damon Dash (Executive) , 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|
|Singles from Vol. 2… Hard Knock Life|
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.
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."
Several tracks in this 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 Timbaland, Jermaine Dupri, 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.
|Christgau's Consumer Guide|||
|Encyclopedia of Popular Music|||
|Los Angeles Times|||
|The Rolling Stone Album Guide|||
In a contemporary review for Playboy, Robert Christgau deemed Vol. 2... Hard Knock Life a progression from its predecessor, featuring more noticeable beats that would appeal to listeners other than just hip hop aesthetes. He highlighted the title track's "audacious Annie sample" and the production of Swizz Beats, whom he believed took influence from postminimalist composers such Steve Reich and Philip Glass. "And whatever Jay-Z's moral values", Christgau wrote, "the man knows how to put words together and say them real fast." He later gave it a three-star honorable mention in his Consumer Guide book, indicating "an enjoyable effort that consumers attuned to its overriding aesthetic or individual vision may well treasure". In The A.V. Club, Nathan Rabin said the record was "an uneven if worthwhile" album whose best songs "strip gangsta rap of its superthug bravado and replace it with a more nuanced understanding of the human emotions behind the gangsta facade". Q called it "the epitome of mainstream hip hop" at the time.
It is Jay-Z's best selling album as of 2013[update] and was certified 5x Platinum by the RIAA in 2000. The album debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200, selling over 350,000 copies in its first week. By 2013, the album had sold 5,400,000 copies in the United States. The album won Grammy Award for Best Rap Album at the 41st Annual Grammy Awards. Though he won the nomination he boycotted the ceremony, citing what he sees as the Grammys' continuing disrespect of hip-hop because they were not going to broadcast the rap nominations. He told MTV "I am boycotting the Grammys because too many major rap artists continue to be overlooked. Rappers deserve more attention from the Grammy committee and form the whole world. If it's got a gun everybody knows about it; but if we go on a world tour, no one knows."
All lyrics written by Shawn "Jay-Z" Carter, and featured rappers.
|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 Amil & Ja Rule)||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 "POP" 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) (bonus track)||Damon Dash, Mahogany Music||4:01|
|14.||"Money Ain't a Thang" (featuring Jermaine Dupri) (bonus track)||Jermaine Dupri||4:13|
* Indicates co-producer
** Ghost produced by Rockwilder
Intro (Hand It Down)
- "Are You Man Enough" by The Four Tops
- Contains lyrics from "Coming Of Age" by Jay-Z ft Memphis Bleek
Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem)
- "It's The Hard Knock Life" from Annie
Money, Cash, Hoes
- "Theme of Thief" from Tohru Nakabayashi & Y. "Dolphin" Takada (from the Golden Axe soundtrack)
A Week Ago
- "Ballad for the Fallen Soldier" by The Isley Brothers
- "Theme from Shaft" by Isaac Hayes
- "24- Carat Black (Theme)" by 24 Carat Black
- "Know How" by Young MC
It's Like That
- "Beggar's Song" by Wet Willie
Money Ain't a Thang
- "Weak at the Knees" by Steve Arrington
|This section needs additional citations for verification. (October 2015) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)|
End of decade charts
|Canada (Music Canada)||Platinum||100,000^|
|United Kingdom (BPI)||Silver||60,000^|
|United States (RIAA)||5× Platinum||5,000,000^|
*sales figures based on certification alone
- Lewis, Pete. Jay-Z: A B&S classic interview December 1998, Blues & Soul
- Vol. 2... Hard Knock Life at AllMusic
- Christgau, Robert (2000). Christgau's Consumer Guide: Albums of the '90s. Macmillan. pp. xvi, 149. ISBN 0312245602.
- Larkin, Colin (2011). "Jay-Z". The Encyclopedia of Popular Music (5th ed.). Omnibus Press. ISBN 0857125958.
- "Vol. 2...Hard Knock Life - IGN". Music.ign.com. 2003-11-11. Retrieved 2013-07-16.
- 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.
- "NME Album Reviews - Volume 2... Hard Knock Life". Nme.Com. 1999-01-18. Retrieved 2013-07-16.
- "Review". Q. December 2000. p. 144.
- The New Rolling Stone Album Guide - Google Boeken. Books.google.com. Retrieved 2013-07-16.
- "Music: Vol. 2, Hard Knock Life (CD) by Jay-Z (Artist)". Tower.com. 1998-09-29. Retrieved 2013-07-16.
- Christgau, Robert (November 1998). "Beck, Jay-Z". Playboy. Retrieved September 4, 2016.
- Rabin, Nathan (2002-03-29). "Jay-Z: Vol. 2... Hard Knock Life | Music | MusicalWork Review". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 2013-07-16.
- "100 Best Albums of the Nineties". Rolling Stone. Retrieved September 4, 2016.
- Reiss, Randy (October 14, 1998). "Jay-Z's New Hard Knock Life Has A Golden Week".
- "The 50 Best Selling Rap Albums of All Time18. Jay-Z Vol. 2... Hard Knock Life (1998)".
- "Canadian Albums Chart - November 14, 1998". Billboard.
- http://www.charts.org.nz/showitem.asp?interpret=Jay%2DZ&titel=Vol%2E+2%2E%2E%2E+Hard+Knock+Life&cat=a. Missing or empty
- "Billboard 200 - October 17, 1998". Billboard.
- "Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums - October 17, 1998". Billboard.
- 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.
- "Canadian album certifications – JAY Z – Vol. 2... Hard Knock Life". Music Canada.
- "British album certifications – JAY Z – Vol. 2... Hard Knock Life". British Phonographic Industry. Enter Vol. 2... Hard Knock Life in the field Keywords. Select Title in the field Search by. Select album in the field By Format. Select Silver in the field By Award. Click Search
- "American album certifications – JAY Z – Vol. 2... Hard Knock Life". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH
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