Jay-Z has arguably had one of the greatest careers in hip hop of all-time. Jigga Man released his first album back in 1996. Reasonable Doubt was the album and people have put it in the conversation as best album ever. The following year, Jay-Z dropped In My Lifetime Vol. 1. The following year Jay-Z hit the studio and released his third album in 3 years. Vol. 2………Hard Knock Life dropped 25 years ago today. The Hard Knock Life sold over six million copies. The album is the biggest selling album in his catalog. It sold over 350,000 copies in the first week and it became his first album to debut #1. The album spent an unprecedented five consecutive weeks at the top spot. Hard Knock went on to win the Grammy Award for Best Rap Album. Despite winning the award Jay-Z boycotted because of the disrespect the hip hop disrespect.
The first single was called Can I Get A…. and it featured A-Mil and Ja Rule. A-Mil was signed to Roc-A-Fella Records and the time, and he introduced the world to Ja Rule. As we all know, Ja Rule went on to become and star later and dropped his Venni Vetti Vucci debut the following year. Can I Get A….was also featured on Def Jam’s Rush Hour Soundtrack. Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem) was the second single from the album. Hard Knock Life was one of his most popular songs with the kids singing the chorus. The single went platinum and was nominated for Best Rap Performance at the Grammy Awards. Jay-Z released two more singles off the album. Foxy Brown, Ja Rule, DMX, Memphis Bleek, Too Short, The Lox and Beanie Sigel all appeared on the album.
Reservoir Dogs is one standout track and the one where the Lox was featured. Reservoir Dogs have been talked about because Styles P of the Lox dissed Jay-Z on the track. The Hard Knock Life has been one of Jay-Z’s better albums. Below are my top 5 tracks off the album. After that, check out the track listing and stream link.
Top 5 Tracks: If I Should Die, Reservoir Dogs, Can I Get A, Hard Knock Life and Money Ain’t a Thang
Vol. 2 Hard Knock Life Track Listing
- Intro- Hand It Down ft. Memphis Bleek
- Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem)
- If I Should Die ft. Da Ranjahz
- Ride or Die
- Nigga What, Nigga Who (Originator 99) ft. Big Jaz
- Money, Cash, Hoes ft. DMX
- A Week Ago ft. Too Short
- Coming of Age (Da Sequel) ft. Memphis Bleek
- Can I Get A……… ft. Ja Rule & Amil
- Paper Chase ft. Foxy Brown
- Reservoir Dogs ft. The Lox, Beanie Sigel & Sauce Money
- It’s Like That ft. Kid Capri
- It’s Alright ft. Memphis Bleek
- Money Ain’t a Thang ft. Jermaine Dupri