Jay-Z's back, doing what he does best: talking about his own riches, the drug game and past hustles...

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The Dynasty: Roc La Familia 2000

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The Dynasty: Roc La Familia 2000

You can’t knock Jay-Z’s hustle. As far as being consistently good and prolific, only Busta Rhymes matches Jigga on the east coast. Now on his fifth album, Jigga gives you more of the same: a bi-coastal production effort aimed to satisfy all the different markets, complete with a plethora of collaborations and Jigga doing what he does best, namely talking about his own riches, the drug game and past hustles.

Of course, what allows Jigga to keep getting away with this, where others fail, is that he is a supreme writer, hence his verses are always engaging. ‘I Just Wanna Love U (Give It To Me)’ – the first release from the album, using Biggie’s ‘The World Is Filled’ – is a superb effort, as he expresses what he is: [I]”a hustler baby”[/I]. There’s also his excellent collaboration with Scarface and Beanie Siegel on ‘This Can’t Be Life’, surely a future single release.

Jigga has always been known as one of the smartest cats in the game. Just figure: most of his tracks feature at least one guest, so he rarely writes more than one verse, and he enlists the help of different production teams [eight on this album, while he only executive produces] to provide the musical canvas. Minimal effort, maximum results. Jay-Z is at the top of his game, and while he, perhaps, has yet to push his talents as a songwriter to its full potential to produce his opus, his albums continue to be tight and shift millions of copies. Now how many rappers can claim that after five albums?

Derek A Bardowell