November 14, 2003. That’s the date that Jay Z’s classic “The Black Album” dropped on the world. A decade old. It taught us to brush the dirt off our shoulder. It taught us that Mr. Shawn Carter has 99 problems but “a bitch ain’t one”. It spawned the horrendous “Collision Course” remix album with Linkin Park, and the questionably legal “Grey Album”, Jay’s album remixed with The Beatles’ “White Album”, by Danger Mouse. It’s an important part of hip hop history and one of the many pieces of music Jay touched that helped sky rocket his career and build his legend.

I went through a couple of videos from “The Black Album” before I got to this one. I feel like this video best represents that era of rap and hip hop. Still about excess, still about women but shifting into a heavily sample-based time for the genre. Brilliant producer/rapper/vocalist Pharrell is billed as a producer and is prominently featured on this song and in this video. It’s one of the more danceable tracks on the record and one of my personal favorite songs by Jay-Z. Probably not a popular as “99 Problems” or “Encore” or even “Dirt of Your Shoulder” but still just as good.

So necessary…


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