The Facts: Certified platinum. Jay Z's first album to debut Top 5 on the Billboard 200.
Haters Say: "Sunshine kills this album...f---..."
Jay Z's second album was his first to release with major label backing (Def Jam). Sean "Puffy" Combs also got behind the boards as an executive producer (most noticeably so on "City Is Mine," which features Blackstreet). Some core fans were suspect that he went too commercial, but there was also a marked lyrical growth as Jay reeled with frustration following Biggie's death. It was released Nov. 4, 1997, debuting at No. 3.