The Black Album
If you are a true rap fanatic, Jay-Z’s songs ring a familiar tune you cannot help but chime in with. He is the legend that is the industry we all know and love. Shawn Carter, also known as the great Jay-Z, is rap’s reigning king. But the highly respected king is giving up the throne, and going out with a bang. Last November, he finally bid the world adieu with “The Black Album,” a bittersweet farewell. With a blend of songs that encompasses storytelling, hotter than hot beats and reminders of his skill and ability, it is clear why he has been crowned the best in the rap game. With tracks like “Dirt off Your Shoulders,” “Lucifer,” and “Allure,” anyone can recognize this hip-hop mogul’s luminosity and skill. One can come to understand just what Shawn Carter is all about. Each and every time I sit down and pay my respects to his work, I find myself caught up. “The Black Album” will get you so wrapped up in its lyrics and creativity that you almost forget he is telling you good-bye. However, just when you find yourself ignoring that Jay-Z is parting, he pulls you back with songs like “What More Can I Say” and “Encore.” These songs make you question yourself: what will the media, the fans, the world do without his never-ending influence on pop culture? It is a scary thought to be without a symbol so influential to the hip-hop industry. “The Black Album” was truly put out to tell the world “So long.” Yes, the tracks are enough to make you realize what the world has to learn to live without. Has there ever been anyone this talented, this poetic, this gifted? After listening to “The Black Album” for even a few minutes, your question will be answered. In his last album you hear poetry. One realizes exactly what he has given the world since 1996, and it is far more than rap lyrics, video and hit records. Shawn Carter has given the world his kind of artwork. So, yes, the saddest thing about one of the best albums out there is that it’s a good-bye. I like to think of Jay-Z as a modern day Monet of rap. I think of his album as a going-away present, a gift Jay-Z decided to give his dedicated listeners. Only with this present, we, his faithful audience, get to reap the benefits.