Can I Get A: Deeper Look At Jay Z’s Album Ranking

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  • Jay Z; In My Lifetime, Vol. 1
  • Jay Z, Blueprint 3
  • Jay Z, The Dynasty
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  • Jay Z, The Blueprint 2
  • Jay Z, Kingdom Come
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5. American Gangster

The Facts: Tied Elvis Presley for the second most No. 1 albums. Sold 425,000 copies in its first week.

Haters Say: “Jay’s drug raps are not believable anymore. He’s too corporate.”

If Kingdome Come was Jay Z’s "first game back" then American Gangster was the game he performed like his old self. After struggling in his return from semi-retirement, Hov released the critically-acclaimed concept album that accompanied the Frank Lucas bio-pic starring Denzel Washington. Jay did a masterful job of juxtaposing his days as a hustler with the life of the notorious heroin kingpin. The familiarity of the storyline clearly helped Mr. Carter rediscover his groove. It was like serving up a batting practice fastball to a struggling slugger. Jay was able to find the sweet spot sonically as well thanks to soulful tracks that also spoke to the 70’s era music that defined Lucas’ reign. In his ranking Jay gave this LP a 4 1/2. He probably understands this was his double nickel game and without it the narrative of his career would be very different.

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