Initially marketed as Hov’s final album, the 14-cut LP is considered by many to be his greatest body of work. In celebrating the two decades since it was released in late 2003, Roc-A-Fella Records and Mitchell & Ness have teamed up to re-release the New York Knicks-styled Shawn Carter jerseys popularized by the rapper during that era.
“Originally released in 2003 to celebrate JAY-Z’s career and forthcoming semi-retirement, the Roc-A-Fella Records x Mitchell & Ness Authentic Jersey is now available in its original and re-imagined variation,” the clothing company wrote on social media.
Check it out below:
A lot has happened since The Black Album was released, and stories about its impact only continue to strengthen its legacy. Former U.S. President Barack Obama, for example, has credited a song from the record with inspiring his first presidential run.
In 2021, Complex asked the retired politician if there were any rap verses he could spit off the top of his head. While declining to actually rap, he did cite “My 1st Song” as a spark of motivation during his first campaign in 2008.
“I’ve mentioned a couple of songs that even when I was running for president came up a lot on my iPod,” he said. “One of them was ‘My 1st Song’ by Jay-Z, which is a song that I love because it talks about the struggle of just trying to make it.
“And sometimes you have to resort to false bravado and hustle and tamping down your insecurities and when I was running for president, obviously, at that point I didn’t know whether I was gonna make it.”
One bar in particular made the future commander-in-chief take on a new mindset going into the last days of the grueling campaign trail.
“There’s a line in there: ‘Treat my first as my last and my last as my first and my thirst is the same as when I came,’” Obama continued. “And I actually kept on listening to that song during the presidency because it was a reminder that even when you do make it, having a little bit of that sense of still being hungry, still having to work hard, still having to prove something, that’s what keeps propelling you forward. But I’m still not gonna rap it.”