Tag Archives: Reasonable Doubt

Acclaimed Albums – Reasonable Doubt by Jay-Z

List item: Listen to the 1000 Most Acclaimed Albums
Progress: 341/1000
Title: Reasonable Doubt
Artist: Jay-Z
Year: 1996

Things are starting to get closer to crunch time at work, so I am not sure how much longer I am going to be able to keep up this pace on the albums list. Music is such a big mood stabilizer for me that I end up leaning more on genres and artists that are sure things or are going to calm me down – which is one of the many reasons I have been trying to more or less fast-track the hip-hop albums. I know albums by the likes of Vampire Weekend and Massive Attack will be easy wins down the line. Then again, I am nearly seven months ahead so does it really matter if I am writing less.

Anyway, in that spirit, I went for Jay-Z’s debut album next. Firstly, because I quite liked The Blueprint and thought this would be an easy win (which it was), but also because after 2Pac I felt like I needed to dive back into rap sooner rather than later or it would become a bit of a roadblock again.

Compared to The Blueprint, Reasonable Doubt is one of those rap albums that doesn’t feel like he was looking to make radio play. Instead this debut was to make his mark, which it undoubtedly did. To think that he made his own independent record label as he couldn’t get a deal and this was one of the many things that made his ridiculous amounts of money.

In the context of the other rap albums I have been listening to from this time, Reasonable Doubt sounds effortlessly cool, does not rely on the misogyny and feels like one of the first albums to perpetuate the kind of high-rolling lifestyle that is now a staple. That isn’t to say earlier albums didn’t boast about money, but this moves the focus to opulence than just making it rain.