His remarkable rise to fame was heralded by his first album Reasonable Doubt, released in 1996, which broke new ground for rap, telling the bittersweet story of a Brooklyn street hustler with striking, coded lyrics supported by rich soul samples. Jay-Z chose this to be his Classic Album because of the power of its music and the disturbing story it tells.I was fascinated by the story it tells. I'm intrigued by the passionate enthusiasm of thousands of people for his music which, though I appreciate it intellectually, gives me only a murmur of aesthetic enjoyment. Most of all, I was captivated by the social commentary that Jay-Z gives.
Monday, 7 July 2008
unexpected social commentary
I've heard that Jay-Z is one of the most successful and creative hip-hop artists of all time. All I knew until Friday night was that his appearance at this year's Glastonbury sparked controversy, so while I was blobbing in front of the TV on Friday evening I stayed up to watch a documentary on BBC2 about the making of one of Jay-Z's albums ~ and I'm glad I did. [Part of a series on Classic Albums directed by Jeremy Marre - this one available on DVD]