The Facts: Debuted No. 1. Certified Triple platinum.
Haters Say: "He should have never picked "Change Clothes" as a single."
If this were Jay Z’s actual last album, this would be the way to sign off. This would be Jordan in Game 6. Released on November 14, 2003, The Black Album was presented to fans as Jay’s swan song, his farewell to game. The Brooklyn MC was set to retire after this, his eighth studio album, but he wasn’t going quietly. There was an air bravura that radiated throughout the LP, which found the superstar rapping with a boulder sized chip on his shoulder as if he was being forced out rather than leaving on his own accord. Rap fans would rue the day he left is the position he took on songs like “What More Can I Say” and “Encore,” sounding like he had enough of feeling unappreciated. Yet he rhymed with a young MC’s vigor and rebelliousness on “Dirt Off Your Shoulder.” The vary emotions were painted on a canvas of beats provided by an all-star cast of producers. If this were Jay’s sendoff his legacy would have been capped by the rarest of feats in hip hop. A rapper actually retired and he left on top of the sport. However, since he did return three years later this album now stands as just another briiliant example of his greatness.