100 Best Albums of the 2000s

100 Best Albums of the 2000s

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Jay-Z, 'The Black Album'

14. Jay-Z, 'The Black Album'

OK, so the retirement didn't last long. Jay-Z's vaunted "farewell record" is still one of the greatest albums by the rapper who is (if he says so himself) "pound for pound . . . the best to ever come around." With a phalanx of production all-stars on hand (Just Blaze, Kanye West, the Neptunes, Timbaland), Hova gazed back and gloated — retelling the story of his rags-to-riches rise ("From bricks to billboards, grams to Grammys"), brushing the dirt off his shoulders, and body-slamming the critics, the police and just about everyone else in the walloping rap-rock epic "99 Problems." He should retire more often.


Rolling Stone's Original 2003 Review

Rolling Stone's 100 Greatest Artists of All Time: Jay-Z

Photos: Jay-Z, Coldplay, Kanye West, John Mayer and More Perform in Las Vegas

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