Jay-Z - Reasonable Doubt (2xLP - 180 Gram Vinyl Reissue + Bonus 10")
Bad behavior gets in the way of business. This is a message that purveys throughout Jay-Z's seminal debut Reasonable Doubt. While most of us are used to seeing Jay-Z as the Entrepreneur, the King Of Hip Hop or Beefer With Nas, here we see the not-so-humble beginnings of the rags to riches rap dream.
On Reasonable Doubt Jay-Z hustles himself to the top by his bootstraps, and while he isn't boasting about how he's king of the hill, he is bragging about how he's going to get there. And where many other gangster-rappers enthusiastically glorify life on the streets, Jay-Z waxes philosophical about the dark sides of turning against childhood friends in a song like "D'Evils" or the consequences of working the corners in "Regrets".
Contributions come from major players Notorious B.I.G., Foxxy Brown and Mary J. Blige, while production is taken on by Damon Dash, the late Kareem 'Biggs' Burke and of course Jay-Z himself. Like contemporary Nas' Illmatic, Reasonable Doubt gives a disarmingly honest and open view of the corner lifestyle, with tongue-twisting rhymes from a young rapper heading for greatness.
Included in this Music On Vinyl edition is a 10" with the hit Can't Knock The Hustle (Fool's Paradise Remix ft. Meli'sa Morgan) with an instrumental on the flip side.