Jay-Z - The Black Album

NME.COM feature on Jay-Z - The Black Album album including album review, artwork, tracks, listen now, tour dates, discography and more.

Album Review

Release date: 02 March 2010

Jay-Z - The Black Album

Jay-Z : The Black Album

Jay-Z's 'last ever' album sees him make a return to form, but is it really the Jigga's final curtain?

And now, the end is near. The jigga faces the final curtain. 'The Black Album' is Jay-Z 's ninth album in seven years and, if we're to believe this elegant hip-hop institution, the last one he'll ever make. "Pound for pound I'm the best that ever come around," he claims on 'What More Can I Say?' And, while the rap world is necessarily full of...

Read full review

  • Nov 22, 2003

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Jay-Z - The Black Album Videos

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Jay-Z News

Jay Z appears on new Jeezy single 'Seen It All' – listen

Jay Z appears on new Jeezy single 'Seen It All' – listen

The track will appear on Jeezy's first album in three years

Jay Z joined on stage by 12 year old fan to perform 'Clique' – watch

Jay Z joined on stage by 12 year old fan to perform 'Clique' – watch

The boy is plucked from the crowd after holding up a sign reading "Can I rap for you?" in North Carolina

Jay-Z, The xx, Karen O make longlist for Best Original Song at the 2014 Oscars

Jay-Z, The xx, Karen O make longlist for Best Original Song at the 2014 Oscars

A list of 75 artists in the running for an Academy Award has been released

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Jay-Z - The Black Album: Wikipedia Album Entry

The Black Album is a 2003 hip hop album by rapper Jay-Z. It was promoted as his final studio album, although Jay-Z subsequently announced a return to solo recording in 2006. The album was very well received by critics and was also a commercial success, debuting at #1 with about 463,000 sold in its first week and more than 3.5 million to date. The black disc is accompanied by a black-covered set of liner notes and a black jewel case.

The album features a guest appearance by Pharrell Williams (in "Change Clothes"), and Jay-Z's mother, who speaks about his childhood in different portions of "December 4th". An a cappella-only version of The Black Album featuring these performances was also released.

In early interviews, Jay-Z said that the album would be a return to his Reasonable Doubt sound (responding to criticism from some fans that his subsequent efforts were too commercial) and that it would be "for the streets", with no promotion or singles however, "Change Clothes" and "Dirt Off Your Shoulder" were both successful singles.

He also claimed that the album would have a different producer for each track, and early magazine advertisements listed a series of numbers (representing tracks) and a producer for each number. The final album did feature a variety in producers, although Roc-A-Fella producers Kanye West and Just Blaze produced two tracks each, in addition to the two produced by frequent Jay-Z collaborators The Neptunes. Longtime collaborators DJ Premier and Dr. Dre did not produce any tracks. 9th Wonder saw a boost in popularity after producing "Threat" for the album. (Jay-Z is credited as the second producer on the track for finding the R. Kelly sample that was included in the beat.)

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