Song of the Day #4,512: ’99 Problems’ – Jay-Z

Every time I do one of these Decades theme weeks, I highlight a celebrated rap album from the year in question, hoping it will make a big impact despite my aversion to the genre.

For 2003, the lucky record is Jay-Z’s The Black Album. And I’m sorry to report that it fared about as poorly as the rest.

Rap just isn’t my genre, and even Jay-Z’s “farewell” album, widely praised as one of his best, can’t change that.

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Song of the Day #3,482: ‘Moonlight’ – Jay-Z

Jay-Z’s ‘Moonlight’ is one of the most provocative and entertaining videos of 2017, and it barely even features the song.

The short film imagines an all-black reimagining of Friends starring some of the hottest talents working today: Jerrod Carmichael (of the regrettably cancelled Carmichael Show, Lil Rey (so great in Get Out), Lakeith Stanfield (Atlanta‘s scene-stealer, also in Get Out, Issa Rae (Insecure), Tessa Thompson (Thor: Ragnarok, my personal fantasies), and Tiffany Haddish (Girls Trip, living legend).

Hannibal Buress shows up as well to do some scene-stealing of his own.

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Song of the Day #1,876: ‘Hard Knock Life’ – Jay-Z

jay-z_hard_knock_lifeMy final Jay-Z selection comes from the 1998 album Hard Knock Life, his third.

I know a little bit about the title track from the descriptions of it I read in compiling this list. Specifically, it samples the chorus of the song of the same name from the Broadway show Annie. That’s a hell of a bold move for a rap song, so I’m definitely intrigued.

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Song of the Day #1,875: ‘Heart of the City (Ain’t No Love)’ – Jay-Z

jay-z_the_blueprintToday’s Jay-Z track is another cut from 2001’s The Blueprint, which brought us yesterday’s team-up with Eminem.

‘Heart of the City (Ain’t No Love)’ is one of the four tracks on this album produced by a then little-known Kanye West, and I’m very curious to hear it for that reason.

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Song of the Day #1,874: ‘Renegade’ – Jay-Z & Eminem

jay-z_the_blueprintToday’s Jay-Z track features a guest appearance by Eminem, a rapper whose work I know quite well. This track originally appeared on Jay’Z’s 2001 album The Blueprint, and later on a reissue of Eminem’s first greatest hits collection, Curtain Call.

2001 was a year after the release of The Marshall Mathers LP and just about the height of Eminem’s popularity, not to mention the controversy surrounding him.

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