Vol. 3... Life and Times of Shawn Carter

Vol. 3... Life and Times of Shawn Carter

by Jay-Z
     
 
From thoughtful urban poet to wise guy-inspired East Coast rap wizard to platinum-bejeweled high roller, Jay-Z's artistic evolution has always relied on his connection to the inner city. Summers in the Hamptons, music videos with Traci Bingham, and Annie samples notwithstanding, Jay-Z represents Street. Or Brooklyn Street, to be precise. On VOL. 3...THE LIFE AND TIMES

Overview

From thoughtful urban poet to wise guy-inspired East Coast rap wizard to platinum-bejeweled high roller, Jay-Z's artistic evolution has always relied on his connection to the inner city. Summers in the Hamptons, music videos with Traci Bingham, and Annie samples notwithstanding, Jay-Z represents Street. Or Brooklyn Street, to be precise. On VOL. 3...THE LIFE AND TIMES OF S. CARTER, he brings it back to the ghetto that raised him with 15 tracks of some of the most unrelenting, hardcore brag rhymes and the illest, smack-you-upside-the-head beats this side of Brownsville. Even on radio-ready numbers like "Things That U Do" with Mariah Carey, which subtly rethinks the Asian influences of A Taste of Honey's "Sukiyaki," and the courtroom drama of "Dope Man" (with MTV's Serena Altschul), Jigga proves he's a son of Marcy Projects with 'nuff roughness. But the disc's real curb anthems are the DJ Premier (what a surprise) joint, "So Ghetto," and the three Timbaland productions, "It's Hot," "Snoopy Track" (with Juvenile), and "Come and Get Me." On the last, Jay-Z is at his cocky best. He proclaims, "No kids, but trust me/I know how to raise a gun/for niggas that think I spent my days in the sun/here's the shock of your life/the glock not the mic." Jay ain't playing in the deuce triple-zero. Though his recent entanglements with the law might prove otherwise, on the same cut Jay is perhaps telling on himself with a thinly veiled barb at his alleged adversary, Lance "Un" Rivera. "I'm a crook like you/I took like you/I disobeyed the law, threw out the book like you/how dare you look at Jigga like I'm shook like who?/I keep the fifth wit me come and get me." Jay may have left the ghetto, but it hasn't left him. And on VOL. 3, that's a blessed union. Brett Johnson

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - John Bush
After the crossover success of 1998's Hard Knock Life (complete with highly publicized samples from Annie), Jay-Z returned to the streets on his fourth proper album overall, 1999's Life and Times of S. Carter. A set of hard-hitting tracks with some of the best rhymes of Jay-Z's career, the album is much more invigorating than its predecessor, and almost as consistently entertaining as his best album, In My Lifetime, Vol. 1. As good as his rapping has become, the production here plays a large part as well. Befitting his superstar status, Jay-Z boasts the cream of hip-hop producers: Timbaland (four tracks total), DJ Premier, Swizz Beatz, and Rockwilder. DJ Premier's "So Ghetto," Timbaland's "Snoopy Track" (with Juvenile), and DJ Clue's "Pop 4 Roc" are innovative tracks that push the rhymes along but never intrude too much on Jay-Z's own flow. If this album doesn't quite make it up to Jay-Z's best, though, it's the fault of a few overblown productions, like "Dope Man" and "Things That U Do" (with Mariah Carey).

Product Details

Release Date:
12/28/1999
Label:
Roc-A-Fella
UPC:
0731454682213
catalogNumber:
546822
Rank:
11679

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