Jay Z: 10 Things You Didn't Know About 'The Black Album'
To celebrate the tenth anniversary of 'The Black Album', here are ten things you didn't know about one of Jay's most iconic albums.
1. 1) 'The Black Album' was promoted as Jay-Z's final album.
Like many of Jay Z's records, the album was promoted as his final release, but of course the rapper returned in 2006 with 'Kingdom Come'.
2. 2) The album lost out at the Grammy Awards to Kanye West's 'The College Dropout'.
Ironically, of all Jay's peers, it was Kanye West's 'The College Dropout' that beat 'The Black Album' to be crowned Best Rap Album at the 47th Grammy AWards.
3. 3) The album is ranked #349 in Rolling Stone's 500 greatest albums.
That's pretty good - imagine how many albums have been released in the history of music.
4. 4) Dr Dre produced tracks failed to make the cut on 'The Black Album'.
Jay originally wanted each 'The Black Album' track to have a different producer but in the end Kanye, The Neptunes and Just Blaze each produced two tracks. Producers whose tracks missed out included Dr Dre and Just Blaze.
5. 5) Jay Z's peers have since sampled huge chunks of 'The Black Album'.
Two Clipse tracks - 'Number One Supplier' and 'Where You Been' - are based on songs from 'The Black Album', while T.I.'s 'Bring Em Out' is based on a line from 'What More Can I Say'.
6. 6) The album sold 463,000 copies in its first week in America.
Obviously that was enough to comfortably give Jay Z the number one spot.
7. 7) '99 Problems' was originally an Ice T song.
Don't believe us? Go to YouTube and search for Ice T '99 Problems'. The song, which has gone on to become one of Jay's biggest tracks, also includes five additional samples from other tracks.
8. 8) Jay Z released an acapella version of the album to allow producers to remix it.
That's something you do when you know you've recorded a piece of history.
9. 9) Most famously, Danger Mouse took 'The Black Album' stems and made 'The Grey Album'.
The album, which famously features unauthorised Beatles samples, became notorious purely through record label EMI's attempt to halt its distribution, even though Jay Z and Sir Paul McCartney were behind the record.