Yesterday, Jay-Z’s Vol. 2… Hard Knock Life turned 15 years old (as did Outkast’s Aquemini for those keeping score at home) and XXL had Wale pen some thoughts.
Jay Z? Greatest to ever do it—hands down. No debate. If you debate you’re really just mad. You got some kinda inner joint, but he knows it though. I think that’s the greatest thing about knowing him is like, being around somebody who knows. It’s just like when Steve Young learned from Joe Montana.
I remember hearing it on PGC long ago. I think I was in middle school, eighth [grade] or something like that, and I remember listening to that joint, and I just remember “Hard Knock Life” being on the radio, and I was just like, “Yo, I’ve never heard anything like this ever.” Ever! Like, that hook [“Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem)”], I didn’t even really know what it was saying, but that mothafucka was so cold, man.
I just think it was a different time. You can’t even really rate no more ’cause the scale have just went like that. That would be considered a backpack record right now. Process that. Like, that would be considered an outright backpack record. No street niggas would rap on that right now. Not one. That was his most selling album ’cause of that song! ’Cause niggas wasn’t buying singles, like a lot of mothafuckas was like, “I wanna hear the Annie song.” And the album—that album was dark. Money, cash, hoes and all that.
Interesting thoughts on Jay’s top-selling album. Let us know yours in the comments below!