The Facts: First No. 1 album. Over five million sold. Won Grammy for Best Rap Album
Haters Say: “Jay Z went commercial on this album.”
All the great ones have that moment when they arrive. It’s that instance when their talent and aspiration meet to fulfill their true potential. Jay Z had that moment on September 29, 1998 with the release of Vol. 2…Hard Knock Life. The third album in his catalog catapulted the rapper to superstar status. Helped largely by the mainstream appeal of the lead single “Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem),” the project boasted more radio-friendly production from producers like Swizz Beatz, Timbaland and Irv Gotti. Despite the gripes from hip hop purists, who consider this a crossover album, it’s the project that highly regarded by Jay’s Generation Y fan base. This is the Reasonable Doubt for many Millennials. The way Hov sees it, new classic for a new era.