Jay was already unstoppable but his most cohesive album since Reasonable Doubt made him untouchable: the new king of New York, the undisputed heavyweight champion, hip-hop’s Superman, “the Sinatra of my day”. Over the course of an all-killer hour with just one guest (Eminem) and no gimmicks, Jay hits his lyrical peak as he trumpets his achievements, trashes his foes (Takeover’s demolition of Nas and Mobb Deep is brutal) and gets sentimental about the past. The air of victory is enhanced by the bombastic classic-soul fanfares of newcomers Kanye West and Just Blaze. One of hip-hop’s true masterpieces, this is an imperially confident demonstration of how it feels to have the world at your feet.
Listen To: Heart Of The City (Ain’t No Love)