It’s like you can almost hear the keyboards of a thousand angry “real hip hop heads” clacking away in fury with this one.
Music mogul Steve Stoute recently had a barbershop conversation with the likes of Future, Showtime Sports’ Paul Rivera, NBA star James Harden, business manager extraordinaire Maverick Carter and Hot 97/Beats 1 Radio personality Ebro Darden, where Futche pulled this (unpopular yet somewhat valid) opinion that has launched endless debates: he doesn’t feel that, when JAY Z‘s debut album Reasonable Doubt arrived in 1996 the rapper or the album wasn’t even in the conversation of the all-time greats.
Being honest, Nayvadius isn’t entirely wrong in his opinion. In 1996 both Puff Daddy’s Bad Boy Records and Suge Knight’s Death Row Records were arguably dictating the sound of hip hop, and some of the top rappers of the era were ‘Pac, The Notorious B.I.G, Nas, and Snoop Dogg, among others. I mean, even the Fugees were light years more popular (and successful) in 1996 with their album The Score. Essentially, Future suggests that JAY Z wasn’t considered to be a great when his solo debut came out (compared to, say, Nas, who was hailed as the second coming of Rakim when Illmatic was released), which is a relatively valid argument.
While critically acclaimed, Jay’s debut album wasn’t immediately held in the high regard that, as time passed, it eventually (and rightfully) would receive. In comparison, Redman’s 1997 album Muddy Waters was received widespread acclaim upon its release and ultimately went platinum before Reasonable Doubt did, and it came out several months after Reasonable Doubt.
Dare I say it: Future has a point.