Monday, November 4, 2013

The Jay Z Project Part 4: Vol. 3.. Life And Time Of S. Carter

With "Vol. 2... Hard Knock Life" continuing to move mad units, and the hit songs receiving a good amount of radio and TV play, the anticipation was strong for Jay's 4th album. In addition to DMX's 3rd album "And Then There Was X" (released on 12/21/1999) and a 2nd copy of Wu-Tang's "Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers), I copped Jay's album on the day of it's release.

Release date- December 28, 1999

Featured Guests
Beanie Sigel
Mariah Carey
Memphis Bleek
Dr. Dre

Behind The Boards
DJ Premier
DJ Clue & Duro
Darrell "Digga" Branch
Swizz Beatz
Russell "Russ" Howard
Sean "SAF" Francis
Chauncey Mahan
Irv Gotti & Lil Rob


 1. Hova Song (Intro)
 Brief, Gotti influenced intro to set the tone for the album.

2. So Ghetto

Although this was and still is a dope song, it's more notable for the fact that this was the last time Jay and DJ Premier worked together. Hopefully it's not the last time.
  *5 out of 5*

 3. Do It Again
    "Got bitches in the back bouncin to Jigga What/You got ya hands up and I ain't even stick y'all up!" -Beanie Sigel

This was a big hit going into the year 2000. Jay and Beanie Sigel are hype on this one, and surprisingly Amil does her thing towards the end. It still holds up today.
*5 out of 5*

4. Dopeman

This is pretty epic right here and my pick for the album's best song. Jay is seemingly "on trial" for the "dope" he's provided to the masses, and that "dope" is serving as a powerful metaphor for the music. This is similar to what Death Row Records did with "The Chronic", saying it was a "dope album", buy it. Outstanding.
*5 out of 5*

5. Things That U Do

Borderline 5 minutes long, this song stops the momentum dead in its tracks for a bit. This was not one of Swizz' best behind the boards and Jay provided the usual.
*2 out of 5*

6. It's Hot (Some Like It Hot)

"I'm about a dollar what the fuck is 50 cents!"

Remember 50 Cent's "How To Rob"? In it, he said "what Jigga just sold like 4 milli, got somethin to live for/Don't want a nigga puttin 4 through that Bentley coup door". Reportedly, backstage at a concert, late 99-early 2000, Jay not only said he loved the song, but straight up told him "you know I gotta get you right?" (And props to Angie Martinez for that info!) That's how the above line was born. As far as this Timbaland produced banger goes, it's slammin and Jay rides the beat nicely.
*5 out of 5*

7. Snoopy Track

I'm not a fan of Juvenile, and admitted bias towards Jay-Z aside, I could've done without his assistance on the hook. This song is ok, but nothing special.
*2.5 out of 5*

8. S. Carter

Jay is saying nothing new here, while Amil literally adds nothing to the song. This was one of the more weaker songs on the album.
*2 out of 5*   

9. Pop 4 Roc

The name of this may have been "Pop 4 Roc", but it sounded like they were doing anything but. As far as I'm concerned, Sigel had the best verse. Amil, again, added nothing, Bleek was Bleek, and Jay had a very rare lazy moment with his verse. Let's move on.
*2 out of 5*

10. Watch Me

"The watch too rocky, need shades"

"Ice don't melt I can ski through a heatwave/Nights won't help, you see Jay it'll be day"

I swear, Dr. Dre had to be in the studio with Irv Gotti and Lil Rob during this making of this beat, providing some form of oversight, because it sounds like something Dre would make. Also, you couldn't help but watch (and listen) to Jay with his brand of "lyrical flossin". 
*5 out of 5*

11. Big Pimpin

It's been a while since I've bumped this song, and I *almost* forgot how GOOD it is. Jay and the late Pimp C did their thing, but Bun-B owned this one and it was effective in putting UGK on the mainstream scene. Timbaland's beat served them well too.
*5 out of 5*

12. There's Been A Murder

"Back to Shawn Carter the hustler, Jay-Z is dead." Hmm, not quite in my view, but it does serve as a nice bit of storytelling.
*4 out of 5*

13. Come And Get Me

I didn't expect anyone to try anything with Jay at this point (did you hear "Ride Or Die", lol), no matter how much he taunted you in this song.
*3.5 out of 5*

14. NYMP

"Jigga was cold as fuck before ice/Not Before Christ, but a long fuckin time, get ya mind right niggas!"

Like all beats that knock, my ride has always loved this beat, no question. And don't laugh, but to this day I still don't know what "NYMP" stands for, smh+lol. Dope song.
*4.5 out of 5*

15. Hova Song (Outro)

"Get ya CDs out, let's go song for song/I'm the illest nigga doin it til y'all prove me wrong."

Nuff said.

*16. Jigga My Nigga

Although "Hova Song" would've ended this album on a great note, we get two bonus tracks a few minutes after the outro. This was also included on the Ruff Ryders' compilation "Ryde Or Die Vol. 1". It was dope as hell then and it still is today.
    *5 out of 5*

*17. Girl's Best Friend

 Come on fellas, we all know what a girl's best friend is, at least in a materialistic sense, lol! That would be diamonds and lots of them, something Jay makes very clear here. This was also included on the "Blue Streak" soundtrack.
*4 out of 5*

This very good album is one in Jay's discography that's seemingly talked about the least. It does have its share of filler (S. Carter, Things That U Do, Snoopy Track and Pop 4 Roc), but the rest of the album flows well. And of course as we head into the year 2000, his popularity would continue to grow. I will not lose!!!!!
4 stars


*The album moved 462,000 units in its first week, shipping 2 million copies in the first month of its release

*It was certified 3X platinum on February 14, 2001

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