On his 44th birthday (December 4), Jay Z has decided to reveal his own opinion on what his best—and worst—albums are.
On his lifeandtimes.com website, Hov posted an image of all of his projects, in cassette form, stacked on top of each other. The order had the album he felt was best, Reasonable Doubt, on top, and the album he liked least, Kingdom Come, on the bottom:
Jay also wrote a brief take on each project beneath the image:
"1. Reasonable Doubt (Classic)
2. The Blueprint (Classic)
3. The Black Album (Classic)
4. Vol. 2 (Classic)
5. American Gangster (4 1/2, cohesive)
6. Magna Carta (Fuckwit, Tom Ford, Oceans, Beach, On the Run, Grail)
7. Vol. 1 (Sunshine kills this album…fuck… Streets, Where I’m from, You Must Love Me…)
8. BP3 (Sorry critics, it’s good. Empire (Gave Frank a run for his money))
9. Dynasty (Intro alone…)
10. Vol. 3 (Pimp C verse alone… oh, So Ghetto)
11. BP2 (Too many songs. Fucking Guru and Hip Hop, ha)
12. Kingdom Come (First game back, don’t shoot me)"
While Reasonable Doubt and The Blueprint are generally regarded as his top releases, Jay reiterated his long-held criticism of his In My Lifetime, Vol. 1 album, released in 1997. Even in 1998, Jay Z admitted he didn't enjoy recording the project as much. "The album to me — this album wasn't fun to me like Reasonable Doubt, because it was like, it seemed really slow to me, and I didn't set out to do that, just looking back now and listening to it now."
Jay Z's Vol. 2, which he ranks as his fourth-best album, was the Brooklyn emcee's breakthrough album, selling 4 million units and making Hov a household name. Meanwhile, Jay admitted that Blueprint 2, his 2002 sequel to one of his best-regarded album, was bloated, as the project was a double album. Jay also made special mention of Pimp C, referring to the late UGK rapper's verse on "Big Pimpin'" from his album, Vol. 3...The Life and Times of Shawn Carter. Incidentally, Hov just released "Tom Ford (Remix)," which features Pimp C.