Vol. 3... Life and Times of S. Carter

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Vol. 3… Life and Times of S. Carter
Jay-z-vol-3-life-and-times-s-carter.jpg
Studio album by Jay-Z
Released December 28, 1999
Genre Hip hop
Length 71:05
Label Roc-A-Fella, Def Jam
Producer Swizz Beatz, Timbaland, Rockwilder, DJ Clue, Irv Gotti, DJ Premier, Lil Rob, K-Rob, Darrell Branch, Ken Ifill, Russell Howard, Sean Francis, Chauncey Mahan
Jay-Z chronology
Vol. 2... Hard Knock Life
(1998)
Vol. 3... Life and Times of S. Carter
(1999)
The Dynasty: Roc La Familia
(2000)
Singles from Vol. 3... Life and Times of S. Carter
  1. "Jigga My Nigga"
    Released: May 28, 1999
  2. "Do It Again (Put Ya Hands Up)"
    Released: December 14, 1999
  3. "Things That U Do"
    Released: February 11, 2000
  4. "Big Pimpin'"
    Released: April 11, 2000

Vol. 3… Life and Times of S. Carter is the fourth studio album by American rapper Jay-Z. It was released on December 28, 1999, by Roc-A-Fella Records. According to USA Today critic Steve Jones, the record marked a return to the street-oriented sound of Jay-Z's 1996 debut album, Reasonable Doubt.[1] Vol. 3... featured production from Swizz Beatz, Timbaland, K-Rob, DJ Clue, Rockwilder, DJ Premier, and Irv Gotti, among others.

The album was well received by critics and debuted at number one on the Billboard 200, selling 462,000 copies in its first week. It has since sold over three million copies and been certified triple platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America.

Release and reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 3/5 stars[2]
Chicago Tribune 3/4 stars[3]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music 4/5 stars[4]
Entertainment Weekly A−[5]
Los Angeles Times 2.5/4 stars[6]
NME 7/10[7]
Rolling Stone 4/5 stars[8]
The Source 4/5[9]
USA Today 4/4 stars[1]
The Village Voice A[10]

Vol. 3... was released on December 28, 1999, and sold 462,000 copies in its first week, while debuting at number one on the Billboard 200.[11] The sales week was thirty-percent more than the first-week sales of Jay-Z previous album, 1998's Vol. 2... Hard Knock Life.[12] On February 14, 2001, it was certified triple platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).[13] In 2009, the album reached sales of 3,093,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan.[14]

In a contemporary review, Rolling Stone critic Kris Ex wrote that Jay-Z "has become a better architect of songs" while hailing Vol. 3... as "his strongest album to date, with music that's filled with catchy hooks, rump-shaking beats and lyrics fueled by Jay's hustler's vigilance".[8] Richard Harrington from The Washington Post found the record to be "full of reputation-building swagger, cataloguing of lyrical skills and autobiographical perspective".[15] Reviewing the album in Entertainment Weekly, Anthony DeCurtis said it reconnects with Jay-Z's urban demographic, "with flair",[5] while Steve Jones of USA Today was particularly impressed by his lyrics and flow, finding both to be "razor-sharp as ever".[1] In The Village Voice, Robert Christgau argued that Jay-Z has too much at stake commercially to depart from "playing the now-a-rapper-now-a-thug 'reality' game with his customers, thugs and fantasists both", but he impresses with "a rugged, expansive vigor, nailing both come-fly-with-me cosmopolitanism and the hunger for excitement that's turned gangster hangouts into musical hotbeds from Buenos Aires to Kansas City".[10] Fellow Voice critic Miles Marshall Lewis called Jay-Z "the best MC in hip hop" and Vol. 3… "the quintessential 2000-model hip hop album".[16] Soren Baker was less impressed in the Los Angeles Times, writing that the record lacks the "biting humor and spectacular wordplay" of his previous albums.[6]

In The Rolling Stone Album Guide (2004), Jon Caramanica later wrote, "Life & Times of S. Carter took [Vol. 2's] combination of style and substance to its apotheosis. In addition to maintaining a strong lyrical presence, Jay also showcased his talents as a master of flow, changing cadences and rhyme patterns with impressive regularity and flexibility ... Nearly every track on this album was sonically unique, and Jay rode each one with aplomb and skill".[17] AllMusic's John Bush wrote in a retrospective review that a couple of overwrought productions ("Dope Man", "Things That U Do") keep it from being among Jay-Z's best albums.[2]

Track listing[edit]

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

No. Title Producer(s) Length
1. "Hova Song (Intro)"   K-Rob 2:21
2. "So Ghetto"   DJ Premier 4:01
3. "Do It Again (Put Ya Hands Up)" (featuring Beanie Sigel & Amil) Rockwilder 4:39
4. "Dope Man" (featuring Serena Altschul) DJ Clue?, Darrell Branch, Ken Ifill, Lance Rivera* 4:03
5. "Things That U Do" (featuring Mariah Carey) Swizz Beatz 4:52
6. "It's Hot (Some Like It Hot)"   Timbaland 4:16
7. "Snoopy Track" (featuring Juvenile) Timbaland 4:01
8. "S. Carter" (featuring Amil) Russell Howard, Sean Francis, Chauncey Mahan* 4:14
9. "Pop 4 Roc" (featuring Beanie Sigel, Memphis Bleek & Amil) DJ Clue?, Ken Ifill 4:36
10. "Watch Me" (featuring Dr. Dre) Irv Gotti & Lil Rob 4:34
11. "Big Pimpin'" (featuring UGK) Timbaland 4:44
12. "There's Been a Murder"   K-Rob 3:40
13. "Come and Get Me"   Timbaland 6:09
14. "NYMP"   Rockwilder 4:03
15. "Hova Song (Outro)"   K-Rob 1:26
16. "Jigga My Nigga" (hidden track) Swizz Beatz 4:34
17. "Girl's Best Friend" (hidden track) Swizz Beatz 3:59

* indicates co-producer

Personnel[edit]

Credits are adapted from AllMusic.[18]

  • Amil – performer
  • Darrell Branch – producer
  • Mariah Carey – performer
  • Drawing Board – art direction
  • Fingaz – keyboards
  • Kyledidthis – design
  • Jay-Z – performer
  • Jonathan Mannon – photography
  • Memphis Bleek – performer
  • Tatsuya Sato – assistant engineer
  • Beanie Sigel – performer
  • UGK – performer
  • Dr. Dre - performer, mixing

Charts[edit]

Chart (1999) Peak
position[19]
Canadian Albums Chart[20] 11
Swiss Albums Chart[21] 75
US Billboard 200[22] 1
US Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums[23] 1

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Canada (Music Canada)[24] Gold 50,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[25] Silver 60,000^
United States (RIAA)[26] 3× Platinum 3,000,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Jones, Steve. "Review: Vol. 3… Life and Times of S. Carter". USA Today: 02.D. January 4, 2000. (Transcription of original review at talk page)
  2. ^ a b Bush, John. Review: Vol. 3… Life and Times of S. Carter. Allmusic. Retrieved on September 14, 2009.
  3. ^ Kot, Greg. "Review: Vol. 3… Life and Times of S. Carter". Chicago Tribune: 3. January 9, 2000. (Transcription of original review at talk page)
  4. ^ Larkin, Colin (2011). "Jay-Z". The Encyclopedia of Popular Music (5th ed.). Omnibus Press. ISBN 0857125958. 
  5. ^ a b DeCurtis, Anthony. Review: Vol. 3… Life and Times of S. Carter. Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved on September 14, 2009.
  6. ^ a b Baker, Soren. Review: Vol. 3… Life and Times of S. Carter. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved on September 14, 2009.
  7. ^ Fadele, Dele. "Review: Vol. 3… Life and Times of S. Carter". NME: February 16, 2000. (Transcription of original review at talk page)
  8. ^ a b Ex, Kris (February 3, 2000). Vol. 3 Life And Times of S. Carter by Jay-Z. Rolling Stone. Retrieved on June 29, 2011.
  9. ^ "Review". The Source. March 2000. p. 256. 
  10. ^ a b Christgau, Robert (February 29, 2000). Cleanup Time - Page 2. The Village Voice. Retrieved on June 29, 2011.
  11. ^ Mancini, Robert. Jay-Z Grabs Top Of Album Chart. MTV. Retrieved on February 22, 2010.
  12. ^ Baker, Soren. Assault Case Won't Stop the Music--or the Sales. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved on February 22, 2010.
  13. ^ Gold & Platinum: Searchable Database. Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). Retrieved on September 14, 2009.
  14. ^ Trust, Gary (August 7, 2009). "Ask Billboard: Steve Vai, Jay-Z, Radiohead". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved September 11, 2016. 
  15. ^ Harrington, Richard. "Review: Vol. 3… Life and Times of S. Carter". The Washington Post: G.12. January 2, 2000.
  16. ^ Lewis, Miles Marshall. Review: Vol. 3… Life and Times of S. Carter. The Village Voice. Retrieved on September 14, 2009.
  17. ^ Caramanica, Jon (2004). "Jay-Z". In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian. The Rolling Stone Album Guide. Simon and Schuster. pp. 424–25. ISBN 0743201698. 
  18. ^ Credits: Vol. 3… Life and Times of S. Carter. Allmusic. Retrieved on September 14, 2009.
  19. ^ Billboard Albums: Vol. 3… Life and Times of S. Carter. Allmusic. Retrieved on September 14, 2009.
  20. ^ "Canadian Albums Chart - January 15, 2000". Billboard. 
  21. ^ "Swedish Albums Chart - January 23, 2000". 
  22. ^ "Billboard 200 - January 15, 2000". Billboard. 
  23. ^ "Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums - January 15, 2000". Billboard. 
  24. ^ "Canadian album certifications – JAY Z – Vol. 3... Life and Times of S. Carter". Music Canada. 
  25. ^ "British album certifications – JAY Z – Vol. 3... Life and Times of S. Carter". British Phonographic Industry.  Enter Vol. 3... Life and Times of S. Carter 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
  26. ^ "American album certifications – JAY Z – Vol. 3... Life and Times of S. Carter". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH

External links[edit]

Preceded by
...And Then There Was X by DMX
Billboard 200 number-one album
January 15–21, 2000
Succeeded by
Supernatural by Santana