Before Reasonable Doubt

Published Material


To celebrate Jay-Z’s new album Magna Carta Holy Grail, I put together a collection of early Jay-Z videos for NahRight. Check the intro, and the link below…

This Monday, Jay-Z will officially give the world his latest LP, Magna Carta Holy Grail. We’ve already seen a rollout unlike any other hip-hop album release in history, complete with a surprise NBA Finals commercial drop announcement, an exclusive Samsung deal and app that under Jay’s #newrules put MCHG at platinum status before one CD hit stores, and a two-week trolling period filled with lyric sheets, video clips, and no actual music that raised the album’s anticipation to an all-time high.

At midnight on July 4th, when the album was first made exclusively available to Samsung phone holders, we all sat and listened, praising it and picking it apart, comparing it to his past efforts. Even the least crafty iPhone owners were able to get their hands on a leak, and if not, they tuned in to Funkmaster Flex, who played MCHG in its entirety on Hot 97 for all to enjoy. It was an epic night for hip-hop, and another notch on the belt of the most accomplished rapper ever.

While examining Jay’s evolving greatness, and discussing where his new LP ranks amongst the rest of his discography, it’s important that we also take a sec to think back to his humble beginnings, before he ever even had an album out. Hov’s come along way since he was making guest appearances alongside Brooklyn greats Big Daddy Kane and Jaz-O in the early ‘90s, and putting out his own on-location Caribbean music videos without a record deal. So as we toast to another Jay-Z win, let’s revisit 5 Pre-Reasonable Doubt music videos that introduced us to his phenomenal MC talents, and hinted at how successful he would one day become. Respect this here.

Video Vault: 5 Pre-Reasonable Doubt Jay-Z Videos


The holiday has already passed, but this list I made for Green Label should hold up through the summer…

The 20 Best Songs For Your July 4th BBQ | Green Label


Fellow writer Jesse Serwer just put a list together on Complex of old Jay-Z songs from before Reasonable Doubt, and it’s dope. Lots of gems and great info. Check it out HERE.

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