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Reasonable Doubt

Rate It! Avg: 4.0 (977 ratings)
Reasonable Doubt album cover
Can't Knock The Hustle
Politics As Usual
Brooklyn's Finest
Dead Presidents II
Feelin' It
22 Two'S
Can I Live
Ain't No Nigga
Friend Or Foe
Coming Of Age
Cashmere Thoughts
Bring It On
Can I Live II
Album Information

Total Tracks: 15   Total Length: 59:18

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Hua Hsu


Hua Hsu edits the hip-hop section of URB Magazine and writes about music, culture and politics for Slate, the Village Voice, The Wire and various other magazine...more »

One of the greatest hip-hop albums ever made.
1996 | Label: Roc-a-fella / TuneCore

Every rapper needs a creation myth — Illmatic opened with Nas and A.Z. counting money over snippets from Wild Style, the devil's sons redeemed by hip-hop. Biggie opened Ready to Die with a gripping audio collage of his first twenty-odd years, as though his rag-to-riches tale was one you needed to learn. Jay opened Reasonable Doubt with a heartbeat, but its quickening pace suggested it was the sound of fear — of moving your… read more »

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The very best...


Personally, this isn't my favourite Jay-Z work but...there's no question it needs to be in every rap collection. There is plenty of hip-hop I love just as much as Jay-Z, but there is no question in my mind that he is the most individually gifted rapper ever. He changed the game in the same way as Sinatra, Elvis, The Beatles, The Sex Pistols, and once the wider music world gets over its' rap snobbery in the future, he'll be regarded in those terms. This is where it starts (and is the only Jay-Z album on emusic if you're not in the US), so adding it to your collection is a no-brainer...

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This is one of the few Jay z albums that I can listen to without skipping a track . Matter of fact this album and the "Black Album". To me his first album is his best by far .

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Doubting his Reason...


So...if Jay-Z is a self-proclaimed member of the Freemasons (or, illuminati, or whatever you want to call it) and he idolizes the Rockefeller. Does that mean that his Song #4 Dead Presidents he's actually celebrating the murder of John F. Kennedy, et al?? Please say it isn't so .... ?

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Young Forever... DeeP


Jay-Z is extremely DYNAMIC! I really appreciate all his music because it allows me to attain a perspective into an entirely different world. That is a REAL artist... he sings what he FEELS. That takes courage! "Young Forever" is my personal favorite song of his!

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Oh my...


Jay-Z is really THAT good. Lots of rappers make claims, but Jay-Z actually DELIVERS.

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Hova da god


Classic album, classic rapper! no arguments what so ever!!!

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Thanks emusic


Ive never been one for rap, but since emusic lets me buy songs for about a third of the itunes price, i can reach out and download a full album for the price of a few songs on itunes. I personally enjoy this site b/c it has many great artists(megadeth, w.a.s.p., jay z, judas priest, dio) and i also get to learn about those groups not quite that famous so who can complain. I freakin love this site and it makes me mad when i read about people who dont like the site b/c it doesnt have the biggest mainstream artists(try getting metallica or black sabbath to sell their songs for 33 cent). Anyway, this is a great rap album coming from someone who doesnt even like rap. What are you waiting for? Download now!

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this album is good, but i would not suggest to sucribe another month. ITUNES. IS A LOT BETTER THAN THIS THEY HAVE EVERY SONG AND I MEAN EVERY SONG

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eMusic Features


Icon: Jay-Z

By Sean Fennessey, Contributor

As he is fond of pointing out, by the time he released his debut album, Reasonable Doubt Shawn Carter was nearly 27 years old. For any artist, that's a late start. For a rapper, it's geriatric. Shawn Corey Carter lived a full life well before he'd become Jay-Z. But, as Oscar Wilde once wrote, "Those whom the gods love grow young." And Jay-Z, well, he calls himself Jay-Hova, the God MC. Before his rise, Shawn, or… more »


Coming of Age: Jay-Z’s Reasonable Doubt

By Hua Hsu, Contributor

Why do some succeed, while others disappear into the ether? Mic Geronimo's The Natural will not go down as an album of world historical importance, but when it was released in 1995, it embodied the grimy swagger of the New York underground. At the time, Geronimo was a hot commodity. Rumors swirled that Puffy was angling to add him to the Bad Boy roster, while Geromino's manager, future Murder Inc. boss Irv Gotti, regarded him… more »

They Say All Music Guide

Before Jay-Z fashioned himself into hip-hop’s most notorious capitalist, he was a street hustler from the projects who rapped about what he knew — and was very, very good at it. Skeptics who’ve never cared for Jigga’s crossover efforts should turn to his debut, Reasonable Doubt, as the deserving source of his legend. Reasonable Doubt is often compared to another New York landmark, Nas’ Illmatic: A hungry young MC with a substantial underground buzz drops an instant classic of a debut, detailing his experiences on the streets with disarming honesty, and writing some of the most acrobatic rhymes heard in quite some time. (Plus, neither artist has since approached the street cred of his debut, The Blueprint notwithstanding.) Parts of the persona that Jay-Z would ride to superstardom are already in place: He’s cocky bordering on arrogant, but playful and witty, and exudes an effortless, unaffected cool throughout. And even if he’s rapping about rising to the top instead of being there, his material obsessions are already apparent. Jay-Z the hustler isn’t too different from Jay-Z the rapper: Hustling is about living the high life and getting everything you can, not violence or tortured glamour or cheap thrills. In that sense, the album’s defining cut might not be one of the better-known singles — “Can’t Knock the Hustle,” “Dead Presidents II,” “Feelin’ It,” or the Foxy Brown duet, “Ain’t No Nigga.” It just might be the brief “22 Two’s,” which not only demonstrates Jay-Z’s extraordinary talent as a pure freestyle rapper, but also preaches a subtle message through its club hostess: Bad behavior gets in the way of making money. Perhaps that’s why Jay-Z waxes reflective, not enthusiastic, about the darker side of the streets; songs like “D’Evils” and “Regrets” are some of the most personal and philosophical he’s ever recorded. It’s that depth that helps Reasonable Doubt rank as one of the finest albums of New York’s hip-hop renaissance of the ’90s. – Steve Huey

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